February 13, 2014, 2:54 PM — There are the usual interview dos: Show up on time. Dress appropriately. Be nice to the receptionist.
The Daily Muse has dug up several lesser-known but very important don'ts to help you make the best first impression. Yes, the IT job market is great, but that doesn't mean you can just walk in and claim any position you please. There will always be competition, and paying attention to the details could give you the edge over another candidate. After all, who isn't impressed by an IT pro who loves details?
Bring only the essentials
Picture this: You walk into reception, make nice with the receptionist and he or she offers you a drink. You kindly accept the coffee, get halfway through it and your interviewer shows up.
"Don't bring your paper cup inside the office to finish off the last few sips," advises Daily Muse's Katie Douthwaite. "Sure, it doesn’t seem like a huge deal…but you probably don’t want your first interaction with your potential employer (or even the receptionist) to be anything along the lines of, 'Hey, you got a trash can back there?' "
The same goes for chewing gum, snack, etc., she says. Bring nothing into the waiting area. Remember, a person makes a first impression in about 6 seconds. Do you want to make yours as the guy looking for the trash?
Put your phone away
Go anywhere today and if anyone over age 12 is standing or sitting unoccupied for more than 2 seconds, a phone is in their hands. Douthwaite advises you avoid the temptation in the reception area.
"Take that time to look over your resume and think through what you want to convey during your interview. Then, when your interviewer makes his or her appearance, you won’t be caught off guard, shutting down Angry Birds and stuffing your phone back into your briefcase," she says.
Think about how refreshing that would look to an interviewer. You want to look smooth, polished and prepared. If you're trying to shut off your ringer, end an app or finish a text, you're none of the above.
Click below for more tips on how to make a great first impression.