1. Failing to prepare. Approach a job interview the way you would a test. It's important to study detailed information about the company where you're applying so you're ready to talk about how your skills are a good fit for its business.
2. Failing to research your interviewer. Go into the interview armed with information about the person with whom you'll be conversing. You may discover a shared interest you can talk about to build rapport. Or you may find out that the interviewer has connections at one of your past employers.
3. Wearing the wrong outfit. We all know it's wrong to judge a book by its cover – but interviewers often do just that. Show up to your interview looking too informal or disheveled, and you may make a bad impression before you even introduce yourself.
4. Not being punctual. Arriving a few minutes early – experts recommend about 10 minutes – serves two purposes. It proves that you're organized, reliable and eager. It also allows you to take some time to compose yourself, use the restroom and prepare for the impending conversation.
5. Using your cellphone. Even if you're simply checking the time, stealing glances at your cellphone may come across as rude or suggest you're easily distracted. Before you go into the interview room, turn off your devices and store them out of sight. You may be accustomed to taking notes on your phone, but in a job interview, use a pen and a paper notebook instead.
6. Asking questions with obvious answers. Don't ask anything that betrays ignorance of the company's basic information. If it's available on the website, you should know about it.
7. Badmouthing past employers. Nothing reveals a bad attitude like excessively criticizing your current or previous employers. Your interviewer will instantly wonder whether you'd talk about her and her company that way if she hired you.
8. Getting too personal. Using a friendly tone is nice, but it's important not to cross a line by sharing too much personal information. Remember, you never know how the person sitting across from you will react to a story about your weekend antics. You only get limited time with the interviewer, so stay focused on your professional accomplishments and the company's needs.
9. Bringing up salary and benefits too soon. Experts agree: Job candidates should never bring up the topic of salary first, because it puts them in a weaker negotiation position. Additionally, talking about it too early may give the impression that you're only interested in the job for its perks. So save this conversation for after you've been offered the job.
10. Not anticipating questions about salary. However, you should be prepared to talk about your salary expectations in case the interviewer raises the topic.
11. Having poor body language. Communication goes beyond words. It's important to make eye contact while listening and speaking, offer a firm handshake and sit with good posture. Try not to channel your nervous energy into fidgeting.
12. Lying This is always a bad idea. When the company discovers the truth, you'll be immediately disqualified from this job and likely all future opportunities.
13. Failing to sell yourself. This is not the time to be humble. Don't assume the interviewer will remember every detail from your resume about the awards you've won or the sales goals you've exceeded. Women are especially prone to deflecting credit for their accomplishments and should practice explaining their qualifications and describing their talents.
14. Selling yourself too aggressively. On the other hand, it's a mistake to come on too strong. Don't brag to the point of arrogance, and don't try to dominate the conversation.
15. Making it all about you. From an employer's perspective, the purpose of a job interview is to determine whether a candidate is a good match for the company's needs. That means your answers should focus on how the company will benefit from hiring you, not how you will benefit from getting the job.
16. Neglecting to ask questions. Almost every interview will conclude with the interviewer asking, "Do you have any questions for me?" Declining to take advantage of this opportunity is a fatal mistake. It sends the message that you are not especially interested or that you arrogantly think you know everything there is to know about the company.
17. Botching the question about your "biggest weaknesses". When the interviewer asks about your biggest weakness, you may be tempted to offer a cute answer, such as, "I work too hard." But that may send the message that you aren't self-aware, can't handle constructive criticism or aren't taking the interview very seriously. Prepare a thoughtful, honest answer to this question as well as an explanation of how you're working to improve.
18. Being long-winded. Telling rambling stories wastes the interviewer's time and decreases the opportunities you have to cover all of the ground you'd like to in the conversations. Communication skills are key in many positions, so the interviewer is likely assessing your ability to speak with clarity and brevity.
19. Gushing. Don't go overboard with compliments directed at the interviewer or the company. These may sound disingenuous.
20. Not making yourself available during normal business hours. It may be difficult to fit a job interview into your schedule, especially if you're already working full time, but hiring managers will usually expect job candidates to accommodate interviews during regular working hours. Be prepared to take vacation time if necessary.
21. Referring to any illegal activity. This is not the time to talk about recreational drug use or any other hobbies that violate the law or employer conduct policies.
22. Being rude. Make a good impression on everyone you encounter. You never know whose opinion counts in the hiring process.
23. Expressing desperation or anger. These traits are unattractive to hiring managers. No matter how strongly you may dislike your current job or how intensely you desire to land a new position, keep your emotions in check at the interview.
24. Neglecting to ask about next steps. At the end of your conversation, if the interviewer hasn't offered information about what you should expect next in the hiring process, feel free to ask. This demonstrates you're interested and keeps you informed.
25. Posting on social media about your interview.
- Budgeting / Forecasting
- Cash Management
- Credit and Collections
- Financial Planning & Analysis
- Financial Reporting
- Fixed Assets
- Fund Accounting
- General Accounting
- Internal Audit
- Inventory Controls
- Payroll/Payroll Taxes
- Pensions/Profit Sharing
- SEC Reporting
- Statement Preparation