July 12, 2013, 11:50 AM — Career experts offer a ton of advice on what to do in an interview. Here's the flipside: the 5 pitfalls you want to avoid in order to nail an interview and leave a great impression.
1. Don't be distracted. Pay attention and focus. It's obvious, but if you're zoned out, overtired or stressed, that's obviously not going to sit well with your prospective employer. Set your interview up with plenty of notice, get a good night's sleep and leave your troubles at the interview room door.
2. Don't forget your your manners. Offer a firm handshake, sit up straight, look your interviewer in the eye, etc. Basically, everything your parents taught you on etiquette and interpersonal communication when you were 12. You will project confidence and healthy self-esteem via good body language.
3. Don't be dressed improperly. Kind of a no-brainer, however it bears repeating. Wear clothes appropriate for the interview. Go with solid colors, understated accessories (resist the urge to bling yourself out) and very light deodorant or cologne. Key words: very light.
4. Don't be bitter. Avoid expressing any frustrations or cynicism about former (or current) employers, your coworkers or pretty much anything that gets you worked up.
"Because attitude is key, frame your negative experiences and feelings within your overall ability to learn and develop," writes business editor Rania Oteify.
5. Don't be forgettable. You hear a lot about making the wrong impression at an interview, but experts say making no impression is just as detrimental.
"The balance of being warm and personal without crossing professional lines is a must to appear human and build rapport in any interview," Oteify adds.