Doing ridiculous antics during a job interview will cost you a shot at the position. Insulting the interviewer or the company, being overly aggressive with demands, or just acting foolish are among the most obvious blunders that are made. Most people do not have to struggle to prevent these glaring mistakes. However, there are some not-so-apparent errors that can be just as devastating to your career prospects with a new employer.
Never call the interviewer by the wrong name.
You may be able to get by without using the persons name. It will leave a far better impression to use the correct name during the interview and especially at the close of it. Usually the person conducting the interview will introduce himself or herself by using the name that is preferred. It does not hurt to ask if that is what you may call the person if it is not the last name with a formal title in front of it. Always keep in mind that almost everyone likes to hear their own name spoken. Conversely, no wants to be called by the wrong name.
Avoid being overly complimentary.
Interviewers are sharp enough to recognize when an applicant is trying to use compliments to buy his or her way into a job. Empty compliments can quickly become annoying. It is not wrong to compliment the office, the company, or the person, but be sparing about it. Especially avoid compliments that have little basis in reality. Complimenting someone in a spartan office about their excellent decorating taste would be a poor choice.
Do not check your watch.
Unless you have to take medicine in about 10 minutes, checking your watch during an interview is rude. If you are a compulsive clock watcher, put your watch in your pocket, purse, or leave it in the car. Checking your watch during the interview sends the message that the interviewer is wasting your time. It also may say that you too anxious or have an obsession about time.
Never pick at anything.
Whether it is a scab, your nose, or lint on your clothing, picking at something during the interview is distracting to the interviewer. It also highlights that you are nervous which could be interpreted as a lack of confidence or that something is being concealed. None of these are positive influences on your job prospects.
Resist the urge to straighten a picture or rearrange furniture.
It is not your office. Leave it as you found it. Unless the person asks you to move your chair to facilitate the conversation, let it remain in its place. Some interviewers will even put things a little askew to make the applicant uncomfortable. Just relax and ignore your obsessive/compulsive tendencies until you exit the interview. Straightening magazine stacks, fluffing pillows, wiping off dust, and a variety other such activities need to be left out of the interview.
It is not the time to crow.
Bragging is bad when you are seeking a job. It can make you sound like you have an inflated ego. Bragging can be seen as implying that you are better than the person interviewing you. Boastful conversation is almost always received as lying and deception. It is often used to cover up shortcomings that the applicant fears might be exposed. Describe your skills, training, and ability in matter-of-fact terms and move on.
Unless it is requested, do not bring a large sheaf of recommendation letters.
If you have a letter from someone who knows you very well that is well-known to the interviewer, it might be helpful. Unfortunately, most letters of recommendation are written by people who mean nothing to to the person across the desk from you. It is all but impossible to verify these recommendations during an interview. Looking at and reading the letters will take up valuable interview time that could be better spent trying to connect personally with the interviewer.
Avoid acting as if you know something that you do not.
You have no idea of the knowledge level of the person you are talking with. You may be painting yourself as ignorant and incompetent while expounding on a topic or skill that you do not know. If you do manage to bluff your way through the interview, the job itself may require you to actually have the experience you claim. It will not take long for your employer to discover you deception. Not only will you forfeit this job, but it may cost you others in the future since people in similar businesses frequently talk to each other off of the record.