Here at Masiello Employment, we’d love to see every candidate ace every job interview. Lucky for you, we’ve got a few interview-perfecting aces up our collective sleeve! It only takes one significant red flag to turn off an interviewer, so never fall into the trap of getting sloppy with your in-person presentation. After all, you made it this far! So to help you along, here are our must-know tips for avoiding strike-outs come interview time.

Mind the Time

Don’t show up even one minute late for your interview. Arriving 5 – 10 minutes early at the receptionist’s desk is ideal – not too early and never, ever too late. Be sure to factor in enough time to deal with logistical issues that may present themselves, for example – there may not be a public bathroom onsite, there may be a security check-in process, or the elevators may be down. Arriving early gives you just enough time to gather your thoughts, organize yourself, and to appear cool, calm and collected when your name is called. Those few moments of peace sitting calmly in the waiting area to compose yourself can make all the difference between looking professional and appearing frazzled. Remember – first impressions mean everything.

Watch Wardrobe Blunders

Wearing flip flops might be comfy, but it’s never professional. It may sound cliché, but dress for success. Other oops include wearing loud jewelry (think an armful of bangle bracelets), ill-fitting shirts, too-short pants, too-tight anything, stained clothing…you get the idea.

Be Nice—to Everyone

Present your best self to every single person you meet at the workplace, including the receptionist. Word travels fast at interview time, be the best person you can be – there’s no reason not to.

Mind the Process

Some aspects of the hiring process can seem unnecessary, redundant, or annoying. It’s all part of the game. If the job application asks you to rewrite your resume verbatim, then just do it. At no point is this the time to complain, offer suggestions, or get creative by writing “see resume” on the application. If you want the job, do precisely what is asked of you – with a smile.

(Hand)Shake it Up

Shake hands with your interviewer upon arrival and as you depart. To execute a proper handshake, extend your right hand, thumb up, then firmly grasp the interviewer’s hand, make eye contact, pump up and down twice, then release.

Maintain Correct Eye Contact

Continually looking away or never breaking eye contact are both extremes that are incredibly uncomfortable for the interviewer. Maintain eye contact for several seconds at a stretch then look away, and repeat.

Pay Attention to Body Language

Stand tall when you meet the interviewer then sit upright, leaning slightly forward, during the interview. Don’t use your hands too much while speaking, don’t cross your legs or chew your nails, and don’t nervously tap your foot or bounce your leg.

Chew on This

Banish chewing gum from your interview! If you are nervous about bad breath, pop a mint in your mouth a few minutes before the meeting and make sure you finish it quickly. Smoker? Try not to smell like an ashtray, your hygiene and the way you look (and smell) matters!

 Know the Company

Do your research beforehand, so you know all the essential details about the company and be ready to share that insight in your answers. Don’t go blindly into an interview.

Avoid Rambling

Answer the question at hand and don’t elaborate beyond, especially with highly personal details. You want to deliver quick, efficient and powerful responses.

Be Positive About Past Employers

Saying anything negative about companies you have worked for previously or specific co-workers is a real red flag for interviewers.

Don’t Be Social (Media)

Posting a picture of yourself in a waiting room before the interview or outside the workplace afterward is never a good idea; neither is posting about how great you did during the interview or saying anything (good or bad) about anyone you met at the company. Remember, to some prospective employers, what you post on social media is just as important as what you say on your resume.

Do you have any advice for avoiding interview no-nos? Please let us know! In the meantime, remember that Masiello Employment is here for you whether you are looking for work or hiring the best people! Our recruiting team is here for a free consultation; just give us a call.