Q: I recently applied for a job that stated it was a “casual work environment” and when I didn’t get the job, the feedback I was given by the recruiter was that I came across as too casual. I thought that was what they wanted?
A: This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. Don’t confuse a casual work environment with not having to be professional. In honour of David Letterman wrapping up his talk show after 33 years, I thought I would put together a Top 10 list of things NOT to do at an job interview. Hope this helps for your next interview:
1. Arrive late for the interview: If you are unfamiliar with where you are going, take a trial run to the location.
2. Be unprepared to the interview: Bring copies of your resume, cover letter and references, and ensure you have done research on the company prior to showing up.
3. Leave your cellphone on or worse, look at it during the interview: Shows complete lack of respect for the interviewer.
4. Bring a cup of coffee or other drink with you, chewing gum or sucking on a candy: This isn’t you and a buddy meeting for a chat.
5. Make negative comments about your current or past employer: Nobody wants to hire a complainer.
6. Talk too much and fast (ramble) or talk too little and too slowly (answer questions with one word): Talking too much and fast says, “I’m nervous and a poor listener”. Talking too slowly or not enough says, “I’m not interested and I’m bored.”
7. Not making enough eye contact or making too much eye contact: Not making eye contact says, “I’m not confident and not really interested” and making too much eye contact says, “I’m domineering and aggressive”.
8. Ask about the salary or benefits in the first meeting: That’s like asking somebody what they earn for a living the first time you meet them.
9. Talk over or interrupting the interviewer: Says, “I’m impatient and arrogant.”
10. Be too casual in your dress, body language or speech: This says, “I’m not really into this job, it doesn’t really matter to me and I’m lazy.”
Linda Hamilton is an award winning master certified life and executive coach. Contact her at www.coachlinda.com