In a competitive job market, employers will do everything in their power to ensure a prospective hire is the right fit for their company. No matter how strong your resume is, you'll still need to nail the interview, avoiding the classic mistakes that leave people out of the running.
Interviewers hate seeing missteps from hopeful candidates, and certain mistakes raise a red flag in their mind. That could kill your chances for that dream job entirely.
One common mistake that often leaves people on the outside looking in is a lack of preparation, according to Mashable. Researching your prospective new employer is a must, as is mentally preparing yourself for the interview. Interviewers are cautious when talking to a promising hire who can't tell them anything about their industry or company. Read their website over and over again, filing away the information you learn to answer questions during the interview itself and express your interest in the position.
Your conduct during the interview is also vital. Be aware of your body language, making sure you're not tired or seem less than interested. Twenty-one percent of candidates report their interviewers have appeared bored, according to the news source; as they may be interviewing dozens, if not hundreds, of candidates, you must do everything in your power to stand out and pique their interest, whether that means highlighting certain experiences or qualities about yourself or preparing jokes or stories that present you in a positive light.
Look the part
Looking the part is another way to get ahead in an interview. If you can find out what the company's dress code is, or ask your interviewer how they expect employees to dress, that's a good start. Underdressing, or looking unprofessional, will make your interviewer think you're not serious about getting a job or not a good fit for their company. Dressing professionally, in a suit, shirt and tie or formal attire, will make you stand out much more than a t-shirt or jeans will.
Avoid appearing generic. Employers have heard candidates describe themselves as driven, work-oriented or hard-working hundreds of times. A better way to express your merits during an interview is to show, not tell, your skills. Back up your resume with examples of how you thrive in a work environment, such as overcoming issues, working well with coworkers or your experience with projects that had positive outcomes for a previous employer. Making it clear that you're a unique candidate, and not just another face in the crowd, will help you stand out.
Scrub your social media clean
Thirty-seven percent of employers told CareerBuilder in 2012 that they use social media to learn details about prospective hires, with 65 percent of those who search saying they look to make sure their candidate presents themselves professionally. Another 12 percent of searchers said they use social media specifically to find reasons not to hire someone, and a third of all searching employers having found reasons not to hire a candidate that ranged from inappropriate information to poor communication, talking negatively about previous employers, or making discriminatory comments.
However, nearly 30 percent of hiring managers have found social media helped them hire a candidate, whether they discovered information about an employer's personality, image, creativity, or even references from others praising the prospect. As a result, it's vital for anyone involved in the job searching process to clean up their online presence and look their best. Using privacy settings, removing unprofessional pictures or details and ensuring a great online presence are all important to prevent your chances being dashed before you even walk in the door.