Interviewing for a job takes preparation, but no one is perfect. Interviewees for positions at all levels make mistakes, but there might be some you don’t know you’re making.
At a recent event for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Meghan Godorov, assistant director of career development at Mount Holyoke College and Sarah Bollinger, assistant director of career development at Muhlenberg College, revealed the top eight interview mistakes they see people make.
The pair reportedly said the mistakes they saw were even made by senior hires.
Here are the eight mistakes you might not know you’re making in an interview:
1. Not Researching
Researching not only the company you’re applying for but the skills you possess is crucial to a successful interview. While you may not a lot about a company, you should also know how your own abilities fit with their business.
2. Having an Unprofessional Social Media Presence
Believe it or not, employers check your social media sites. Your social media sites are your personal branding so you need to think about how you’re putting yourself out there. Experts recommend building a LinkedIn presence and keeping your Facebook and other accounts appearing professional.
3. Poor Interview Netiquette
Many interviews are now being done via the Internet or over the phone. Some of the common mistakes made during these digital interviews include not being in a quiet space and not dressing appropriately for a video chat. Practice looking the camera of your computer before a video interview so it appears as though you’re looking at the interviewer as opposed to yourself on the screen.
4. Not Knowing How to Sell Yourself
One of the most common interview questions is often the most poorly answered. The question isn’t intended to find out your life story, it’s your opportunity to give your elevator pitch—sell yourself!
5. Not Preparing the Right Questions
Ask questions during the interview that you can’t answer yourself through researching online. Make sure these are thought out because an employer will want to know you did your homework.
6. Not Writing Thank Yous
Godorov and Bollinger say it’s acceptable to send an email thank you for any video or phone interview, but an in-person interview should get an email thank you within a day or two of the interview as well as a handwritten thank you to each person you spoke with for more than 10 minutes. Each thank you should be tailored to the recipient.
7. Choosing Bad References
Choose your references wisely and make sure they know you’re using them as reference. Using your boss as a reference without telling your boss you’re applying for other jobs will make you look bad to both employers. Also, make sure you have the most up-to-date contact information for each reference.
8. Under/Over Valuing Your Worth
Salary negotiations are one of the biggest interview challenges. Be sure to research the appropriate salary range for the position you’re interviewing for and don’t over or under sell yourself when it comes to the wage you want.