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12 Things to Not Do Before a Job Interview if You Don’t Want the Position to Slip Away

Some experts claim that we only need 1/10 of a second to make an impression on someone. In order to make a good impression on a future employer, this is a ridiculously small amount of time. However, you can prepare for an interview in advance, so that you look great on this important day and know how to present yourself in the best possible light.

We at Bright Side love our readers and want to make the process of searching for and getting a job as easy as possible. This is why we came up with a list of typical mistakes people make before and at the very beginning of job interviews. We want to help you prevent making these same mistakes.

Mistake № 1: Using perfumes with strong smells (even if you like them)

Scientists claim that 30% of people hate strong smells, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the smell of expensive French perfume, cheap cigarettes, or sweat. Very sensitive people might even have headaches, feel nauseated, and they may have a burning sensation in their eyes. What if your future employer is one of those people? Why take the risk?

In order to not scare other people away with your smell, you should do several simple things:

  • Don’t use perfume and lotion with a strong smell at the same time. The dissonance of smells can make people nauseous.
  • If you spritzed some perfume on yourself and there is a wet spot on your skin, it means that you put too much on and the people around you will suffer.
  • Before a job interview, don’t eat any foods with strong flavors, like tuna, boiled eggs, or onions.

Mistake № 2: Watching TV the night before

Today, it is hard to imagine our lives without smartphones or laptops, but before a job interview, it is better to forget about them. This is because of the blue light that the screen of your device emits. Recently, doctors found that the light from devices has a negative effect on our vision, causes insomnia, and in rare cases, even depression.

A person that has dark circles under their eyes because of a lack of sleep can’t make a good impression. Also, the lack of sleep will slow down your thinking process, and you won’t be able to answer the questions correctly and quickly. So, in order to have a good night’s sleep, don’t read the news and don’t watch any shows the night before.

Mistake № 3: Trying to charm an HR rep

A headhunter with 20 years of experience, Susan P. Joyce, made a list of questions that can ruin the reputation of a job-seeker. One of the worst mistakes you can make is trying to flirt with an HR rep or someone else in the office.

When you are in line waiting for the interview, don’t even think about asking other people about their marital status or asking someone out for a cup of coffee. The employer will instantly feel that this is not a job interview for you, but just a romantic adventure.

Mistake № 4: Discussing personal topics and telling the story of your life

Experienced recruiters recommend being friendly, but not too friendly. Don’t go in talking about your adventures this past weekend, your mistakes of the past, your relatives, or showing the photos of your children or pets.

You can’t know how the employer will react to your (maybe even funny) stories — what if they don’t like cats? It is better to focus on your professional qualities and leave all the personal things for your friends.

Mistake № 5: Not taking a bottle of water or juice with you

Before you leave home, put a bottle of water, or something else to drink, into your bag. During the interview, you might get nervous and might want to drink, so the water will come in handy.

Besides, if you ask for permission to go drink some water, it may distract the recruiter and the interview won’t go as you planned. Also, dry lips can make you look tired or sick.

Mistake № 6: Letting your emotions get the better of you and sweating like you are in a sauna

Sweaty palms, a wet T-shirt, and a shiny forehead — these are the nightmares of any candidate for a job. It’s not just unattractive — sweaty people make a bad impression. People might think that you are too nervous or that you are not confident. Or, even worse, that you are hiding something.

In order to look good, drink some cold water — it will decrease your body temperature a little. And don’t forget to take some Kleenex in order not have to wipe your sweaty palms on your pants or skirt (this awkward gesture will definitely be noticed).

Mistake № 7: Using an unprofessional e-mail or nickname

For your business correspondence, it is better to have a different e-mail address. The name of the e-mail address should be directly linked to your name. It makes it easier for the recruiter to identify you and, also, inappropriate nicknames might make them think that you are unprofessional (even if you are not).

This rule works for remote job interviews, too (via Skype, for example). Your nickname should be easy to read and should not be anything even remotely offensive.

Mistake № 8: Using a word that makes you the weakest candidate

Many people know that they shouldn’t say, “Excuse me” all the time because this expression makes them look weak and insecure in the eyes of others. But also, there is one more word that lowers your social status.

The word just gives all the advantages to the person you are talking to. The phrases like “I just wanted to ask” or “I just wanted to clarify” make you sound as if you are apologizing for something even though you haven’t done anything wrong.

Mistake № 9: Bringing coffee in a plastic cup

Even if you are a hardcore coffee fan, don’t bring your coffee. During the interview, it will only distract you: when drinking, you might miss a question and your hands might be too busy.

It’s better to take more business cards, a copy of your CV, and your portfolio in case the HR rep can’t find them.

Mistake № 10: Not sorting out the mess in your handbag

The day before the job interview check the contents of your handbag/suitcase and get rid of all the unnecessary stuff. It will be embarrassing if you’re trying to get a copy of your CV or something else and you accidentally drag your keys or your hairbrush, entangled in your headphones wires, out of your bag. Besides, this mess only tells the employer that you are a disorganized person, which is not a good thing at all.

Mistake № 11: Drinking beverages with caffeine shortly before the interview

Foods and drinks that contain caffeine can ruin your job interview. First, a lot of adrenaline gets into your bloodstream which can make your palms sweaty and your hands shake. And second, coffee is a diuretic and a laxative. We know that coffee fans can’t live without their favorite drink, but we still encourage you to take a break from coffee before an important job interview.

Mistake № 12: Not proofreading your CV before sending it

In reality, even the most well-educated people make mistakes. When sending a CV, it’s not the typos that ruin the impression about the candidate, it is the very fact that they didn’t even care to double-check it. This may be taken as neglect.

In order to get a good job, try and follow the recommendations from our list. Do you have your own secrets or rituals that help you get into the right state of mind before an interview and make a good impression?