The interview starts at first glance. An interview is your time to impress the Interviewer with your soft skills and your job skills. Your body language, your listening skills and how you respond during an interview are just as important as how well you look in your new designer outfit. And, if you take on the persona that you are doing them a favor by showing up you probably shouldn’t have. If you get caught up in the “don’ts” they won’t be impressed and you won’t find yourself a member of their team.

Hints…Before you enter the meeting place.

  • Turn off your cell phone.
  • Take 2-3 copies of your resume.
  • Check yourself before going in.

Here are a few showstoppers…

1. You didn’t arrive on time. Rule number one; if you’re late, you’re won’t be hired. No excuse will work unless it’s a natural disaster (blizzard, earthquake or something very, very major). Unreliable will stick to you like glue. The interview may go on, but your done.

2. You didn’t show personality up front. If you didn’t build rapport, do the small talk, show personality during introductions or on the walk to the meeting location the interview will start off and possibly remain rigid. Miss an opportunity to show personality up front can be the beginning of the end. You may not be able to recover. Showing your self as one-dimensional never works.

3. You didn’t listening close enough to the Interviewer. Listen…not just hear words float by. Show you are genuinely engaged in what’s being said. Interviewers can tell if you are really listening or not, so put up your very best effort and add some of their conversation into your answers when possible. A smirk or grimace is certainly out of the question. If the interviewer feels you don’t like what you are hearing, drifting away, not focused or sense what they are saying is going by you like blah…blah…blah…you lose.

4. You didn’t answer the questions. If you were asked a question and you went off on a rant in another direction the Interviewer will think you can’t follow a conversation even though you know your can. And, if they ask the question again, you know the interviewer didn’t get an answer. Maybe your nerves made you rant on, but it’s not a good idea. Stick to the question and answer it thoroughly matching the communication style of the interviewer.

5. You didn’t close the interview in your behalf. If you don’t sum things up by telling the Interview why you would be the best choice and ask for next steps in the interview process shows a lack of enthusiastic about being a member of their team. Leaving with just offering a thank you for your time won’t leave a great impression or get you a call back.