PORTLAND - For every job opening, there are usually dozens and dozens of applicants hoping to at least get an interview.
If we only get one chance to make a first impression, the job interview is where you want to shine.
"You want to dress to impress, put on the suit," said hiring manager Nancy Howard. "The job interview is the one interview that could change your life. The less desirable (option) would be showing up in sweat pants, jeans, a T-shirt, or shorts and flip-flops."
Besides being just plain rude, there are several mistakes that will probably take you out of the running.
A CareerBuilder.com survey found the common detrimental mistakes include:
- Answering your cell phone or texting during the interview
- Appearing disinterested/bored
- Appearing arrogant
- Talking negatively about current or previous employers
- Chewing gum
"Interview mistakes come in all kinds of sizes," according to Judy Clark, founder of HR Answers. "They come from self-interest, for your benefits and your sick leave and your vacation."
Clark said other applicants are just too casual, too laid back. "They do inappropriate references, they swear, there's an abundance of bad habits."
That includes showing up late for the interview, with no apologies.
"Good applicants drive to the location the day before, look and see how people are attired, so they can dress one step up from the folks that work there," said Clark.
"They get a sense of the place, they do Internet research, they're prepared."
And while your resume got you in the door, it's those missteps during the interview that could point you toward the exit sign.
"There's a sense of entitlement with some people or just lack of know-how," according to Howard. "They've not been taught or don't understand the importance of that first impression. It's a lasting impression."