August 19, 2010

Little-Known Things that Matter to Job Interviewers

Show up for your job interview on time. Bring a copy of your resume. Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake.

Most job hunters have been hearing the same tips over and over again from career education sites, yet aren’t getting offered positions. So, straight from someone who has interviewed candidates, here are four things that you may not be considering that really do matter to potential employers.

1. Smelling Like Smoke

Even if you’re nervous about your job interview, resist the urge to smoke – and if you live in a home with heavy smokers, make sure your clothing doesn’t smell like cigarettes. A smokey smell is off-putting to non-smokers, so it doesn’t give off a great first impression. In addition, it could make your interviewer think that you’re going to take more breaks during work because you need to light up.

2. Being Too Overbearing

It’s good to double-check your interview time if it is made more than a week in advance. It’s good to be enthusiastic about the job during the interview. It’s good to follow up with a thank you note. However, if you call every day to find out if a decision has been made, you’re just going to get annoying. In the interview itself, you may also want to tone it down a few notches if you have the tendencies to talk too much or seem over-excited when nervous.

3. Too Much Personal Information

Your job interviewer isn’t allowed to ask certain questions (such as whether or not your married), but adding in some personal information about your life is often a plus when answering questions.

Some interviewees have a tendency to go overboard. Yes, that thing your toddler said this morning was hilariously cute, but does it have relevance to the job at hand? Avoid babbling too much. If you need a few moments to think before you speak, that’s ok! Edit your responses during the interview so that you don’t go off-topic too much.

4. Other Employees

As you walk into the building, you’ll likely see other employees. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. They may not be doing the interview with you, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t part of the hiring decision at all. Avoid bothering people who look busy, but your interview starts the moment you walk in the door. Strike up a conversation with the secretary, smile at anyone who walks into the reception area, and make a good impression on everyone you meet.

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