After interviewing many people I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not only the technical skills « can you do the job » that will sway someone to hire you….sometimes it’s the most simple things, that can make or break the interview, before it’s even started.

Here are 5 short points that can turn interviewers off you.. and yet can easily be avoided?
Take a look.

1. You send your CV with no message

This is the one that really blows me away. How can you send through your CV and your cover letter for a potential interview with not even a « Dear Mrs… » or a « Please find attached » included ? Would you really want to even talk to somebody any further, if they can’t even greet you or initially show respect.. ?
Hello…. ??!

Make sure all e-mail messages are polite, respectful and of course timely (reply within 24 hours of receiving…) This is the first impression somebody will get of you, so it has to be a good one !

2. You arrive well before the appointment

Everybody knows that it’s bad news, to show up late for an interview and is obviously totally disrespectful. The contrary however, turning up 10 or 15 minutes before-hand, can also be annoying to an interviewer.

Why? Because, when you arrive before your meeting time in a face to face situation, then all you’re doing is putting pressure on the interviewer. You could be insinuating he/she should drop whatever they may be doing and deal with you immediately.

The same applies for Skype Interviews ...or it can be even worse, as you actually interrupt if you send a message.The interviewer is probably already interviewing somebody, so your text message « I’m ready » 5 or 10 minutes before, can be really distracting.
Additionally, another bad impression of showing up early is that it could be saying, “Hi, I have absolutely nothing else going on in my life, so I’ll just hang out here in your reception”.
Of course you don’t want that.

So, if you arrive super early, relax in the parking lot or a nearby coffee shop until just a few minutes before your scheduled time, or on Skype, change your status to online just 2 minutes before and wait to be called.

3. You practised so much you sound like a robot

Of course you’re not going to go for an interview completely unprepared. I bet not many people think about being over-prepared though….

Don’t prepare your answers so much that everything is written down and you’ve rehearsed it word for word in front of the mirror and it sounds robotic. Many people, when repeating answers they’ve practised 20 times, especially with a subject they know like the back of their hand « themselves » , start to sound almost bored or disinteretsed.

If you are just waiting to answer the questions you’ve rehearsed for, you will not really be enaged with the interviewer. They will rarely hire people they don’t feel they can have a conversation with….

Therefore, make a mind-map to organise your thoughts on a piece of paper so you’re able to talk about the subjects naturally, easily and be able to tell a story, rather than sounding like a recording.

4. Your message is clear and obvious WIIFM (what’s in it for me.. ?)

Do you know what the interviewers have issues about when they first meet you… ?
First and foremost, they want to know what you can do for them, how can you make the company money, improve their processes, grow the organization and most importantly, make their lives easier?

So think about any question you may be asking (and I hope you have some.. !) Do all your questions refer to yourself and what you’ll be getting out of the deal…the timing of your shifts ; vacations and benefits ; car, mobile phone and office allocations ?
Of course you want to know about these issues, but in the early interview stages, all hiring managers and HR people really care about, is what you can do for them.This is a business they are running, not a club!
So, if you do inadvertently burst out with a siege of WIIFM questions, you could look egocentric, arrogant and, frankly, unappealing.

Of course, making you happy is very important …if they want you… but you’re not even going to get to that stage if you start by making your list of demands early on.

5. You forget to end with a « thankyou »

And this is not even the after-interview thank you note I’m talking about (which of course is also pretty critical to send-out, to thank each person you’ve met.) It is SO important to thank the interviewer enthusiastically before you part ways.
The way you end an interview leaves such an important last impression. It keeps your profile in his mind and this has to be a strong, interested and enthusiastic one.

“Thank you so much for taking the time to meet me — it was really interesting” will go a long, long way…rather than just « Yeah, OK, thanks Bye » and turning on your heel.

Interviews can be one of the most stressful things we do as adults, especially when we need the job badly. It’s definitely never a walk in the park. But keeping a cool head, arriving prepared to engage in conversation, and staying focused on the value you can bring to the organization is going to help you sail through the event.

Just remember – People hire people, not robots, and definitely not people who don’t value their business and their time.

Keep this in the front of your mind as you set forth – good luck 🙂