It's game time. You’ve been asked to come in for a face-to-face job interview.
You’re a little apprehensive, but you’ve done your preparation. You know why you want the job and how you’re qualified. But yes, there are plenty of ways you can be thrown for a loop once you take your seat at a potential workplace.
Here are six common interview mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Acting arrogant.
Humility rules the day. Even if you feel you're overqualified for the position, don't wear it on your sleeve. Employers want people who work well with others and don't hold themselves above anyone else.
I like to urge older workers to be confident, with just the tiniest dose of swagger. But never go egotistic. If you believe in yourself, you don't need the crutch of haughtiness.
In the end, whether you get tapped for the job often will depend on a hiring manager's gut sense of how well you'll play with the other kids. Someone who is willing and happy to chip in and works effortlessly and collaboratively with others wins the day.
You want the interview to convey that you have this quality. One way is to be sincerely enthusiastic about the company. It will show up in the spark in your eyes and the tone of your voice. Be clear about why you're motivated by what the organization does, its mission and the challenges of the position for which you're interviewing — plus why you think you would be a good fit with its culture.
2. Dropping names.
It may be OK to briefly mention names of people you may know in common or those of big players in your industry whom you’ve worked with recently. But generally this technique is a turnoff and suggests insecurity. Your interviewer may take it as a flaunting of high-level connections that will get you in the door, so zip it on names. We all know how we feel when people drop names to us.