Reprinted from "About Careers" by Andrea Santiago
As a professional recruiter, and a hiring manager, I’ve participated in hundreds of interviews over the years. Interviews can vary, and your success could be subjectively based on the opinion of the decision-makers, but there are many different ways to increase your chances of success. That being said, today we’re going to look at some things you should AVOID on an interview. Hopefully you can avoid these seven interviewing downfalls, and get the job offer!
Keep in mind, the ultimate goal of the interview is to GET the JOB OFFER! You can decide if you want it later, but first you have to get an offer! Here are things to avoid, if you want to get a job offer and have ultimate interview success!
1. Bring a List of Demands
This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people try to negotiate more money and better perks during an interview. Hey, you don’t have the job yet! So how can you negotiate an offer you haven’t received? This is a surefire way to negotiate yourself right out of a job offer.
2. Surprise the Potential Employer
The interview is not the time to drop a proverbial bomb. Don’t save any major news for the interview. For example, if you can’t start work until next year, or you have a professional or criminal background issue, or if there is anything about you that you have not shared, which would impact the potential employer in a significant way, don’t plan to bring this up at the interview! Sensitive matters should ideally be discussed prior to the interview, for the consideration of everyone involved. If being up-front causes you to be passed over for an interview, move on! Now you’ll have more time to interview with other employers who are willing to work with your situation!
3. Play Hard to Get
Even in the high-demand world of clinical healthcare, employers want to hire people who want them! Therefore, you do not need to talk about all your other job offers on the interview. If you act disinterested, this will cause the employer to pass you over, even if you’re the only qualified candidate who is interviewing currently! I have personally witnessed numerous highly qualified candidates get passed over for job offers due to an overactive ego or unwillingness to show genuine interest. Even if this is your second or third choice employer, your situation could change, so interview with each employer as if it’s your only option.
4. Dress Down
Interview attire may present a challenge for many healthcare professionals, who often wear scrubs or lab coats to work. However, everyone should have one professional, tailored suit or business attire, if not for interviews, then for other occasions such as conferences or presentations. Wear tailored, professional, modest clothes for an interview. A suit is ideal; however at the very least men should wear a button down and a tie, and ladies should wear a blouse and a skirt or a jacket with pants. If you have tattoos or piercings, cover them.
5. Show up Late
This is a big no-no, unless you are trying to convince your potential employer that you are careless and tardy. Plan your day carefully the day of the interview. Do a test drive to your interview site if needed! Allow for traffic, parking issues, bad directions, accidents, etc. Pretend your interview is 30 minutes earlier than it is, and bring a book to read in the event that you arrive early.
6. Get Sloshed
Some interviews, such as executive roles or physician interviews, take place over lunch or dinner, and really you should refrain from drinking if at all possible. If the interviewers are ordering a bottle of wine to share or something, limit yourself to one glass if at all possible.
7. Spew Offensive Language or Inappropriate Jokes
No one thinks that you are going to be perfect, but if you can't refrain from offending people on an interview, then you will make people wonder what to expect when your guard is down and you are comfortable working there.
Remember - the interview is the time to show yourself at your absolute best! Yes, it is important to be yourself, but be yourself at your best. Employers know that a candidate's behavior during an interview is typically as good as it gets. Therefore, the interviewers are not going to give you the benefit of the doubt if you slip up during this crucial part of the job search process.