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6 Ways You Can Blow the Job Interview Even Before You Meet Your Interviewer

You’ve received the call for an on-site interview and you are all excited about meeting and impressing the interviewers. But the way you behave outside the interview room also makes a big difference to your candidature and can easily impact the hiring decision. Here's how to make sure you're not giving the wrong impression to potential co-workers while you're waiting to meet the hiring manager.

You’ve received the call for an on-site interview and you are all excited about meeting and impressing the interviewers. But the way you behave outside the interview room also makes a big difference to your candidature and can easily impact the hiring decision. Here’s how to make sure you’re not giving the wrong impression to potential co-workers while you’re waiting to meet the hiring manager.

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  • 1. You arrive late for your interview: Unless you have a compelling reason, like an unavoidable personal emergency — and it should be really unavoidable — don’t be late. It reflects badly on your professional behavior and work ethic. If you must be late, call your recruiter ahead of time and let him/her know. Follow up with an apology to your interviewers and share that you are genuinely still interested in the job and offer a new schedule that accommodates the needs of the interviewers.
  • 2. You are not appropriately dressed for the job: No, this is not about dressing up in a suit or showing up in casuals; it’s about not following the dress code of the organization you are applying to. Going over-dressed or too casually dressed both work against you. Ask your recruiter or point of contact in the organization ahead of time for advice on the dress code and adhere to it.
  • 3. Your body language isn’t friendly: You don’t make eye contact, don’t smile, don’t shake hands, have a loose grip, or your hands are firmly locked against your chest. Knowingly or unknowingly the physical cues you send out speak volumes about your personality. If you are completely closed, then you are sending signals across that you are not a team player, do not like interacting with people and lack basic courtesies.
  • 4. You are rude to the support staff: Just because the receptionist or the recruiting coordinator is not interviewing you, does not mean you can be rude or condescending toward them. As Alison Green notes in US News, “Many interviewers will ask the receptionist what they think of you. If you were rude or arrogant, that’s usually a deal-breaker.”
  • 5. You use inappropriate language: This is your first interaction with people in the office and if you use profanity, swear, or use inappropriate words, you are instantaneously judged and the decision on your candidature is already made. You will not get a call back.
  • 6. You badmouth your employer: Even if it is a water cooler discussion or an informal chat with your coordinator before the interview starts, if you bad-mouth your employer or criticize your previous manager, it shows that you lack a sense of discretion and professional decorum.

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Padmaja Ganeshan Singh
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