There are always some basic interview rules that most people understand and abide by. You know - dress professionally, show up early, give a firm handshake, don’t talk too much, show confidence in your abilities, ask for the job… But sometimes it’s the simplest things preventing candidates from landing the job. Some recent examples I have seen:
1. Show up. Yea I know, it should be included in those basic rules that everyone understands. Yet it amazes me how many times people just don’t bother to show up, or even call to cancel.
2. Act professionally! It’s not enough to doll up, you have to act the part too. Outside of the friendly banter, don’t try to come off as the funny person everyone would love to work with. That won’t get you the job.
3. Don’t smell. Simple enough, but it can range from body odor to strong perfume or cologne, or maybe the breakfast burrito wasn’t a wise choice.
4. Look at me. Lack of eye contact shows a lack of confidence, or that you’re lying about something. I might not know which one it is, but it never tells me something good.
5. At least act interested. Don’t treat your potential employer like a commodity. An interesting turn of the tables I suppose, but if you’re interviewing with a company that treats their workers like a commodity, you should probably move on anyway. Take the high road and act like this is the only job you want.
6. Communicate any change in your terms. Once you tell a Recruiter or HR what you are looking for (salary, location, responsibilities, availability…), it’s OK to change that as the process goes on, but you have to let them know. Otherwise, you might end up interviewing for a job that has no chance of meeting your new terms for employment.
There are many reasons why you may or may not get a job, many of which are out of your control. But sometimes it's the most basic things that we take for granted that actually get noticed.