Top Five Interview Mistakes to Avoid

1. Arriving Late…or Too Early - Employers look for punctuality from their candidates to show they are committed and accountable.  Candidates who show up late give a bad impression; remember the interviewer is taking time out of their day to meet with you.  Also, try to avoid being excessively early to your set interview time.  The employer needs time to prepare for your interview.  A good rule of thumb for going to a job interview is to show up 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment.  If there is traffic, be sure to plan accordingly.

2. Not Bringing a Copy of Your Resume - Be prepared by having extra copies of your resume on hand during your interview.  This is the key item in selling yourself to a future employer, as well as to possible coworkers.  Having more than one resume saves time in not having to make copies for other eyes to see.  Showing up without a resume and assuming the interviewer can print it out for you could give off the impression you may not be a serious candidate.  Make sure all copies of your resume are identical, well organized, and tailored towards each specific job.

3. Not Having Questions for the Interviewer - Questions can be a huge selling point in an interview.  They can help the interviewer get a better feel for you as a potential employee and it can help you see if the company/work is a good fit.  Bring a notebook with some questions already jotted down for the interviewer, and be active in writing notes down during the interview.  The questions should be appropriate and fit within the context of the position and company.  Asking questions after the interview demonstrates your interest in the position and will make you more memorable.

4. Being Pay-Focused or Benefits-Focused - Avoid mentioning money or benefits during the interview. Keep the conversation only about the position.  You want to show the interviewer you care about the job, not just the money.  If the interviewer brings up the subjects of compensation or benefits, feel free to ask questions.  Just remember that money is off the table until the interviewer says otherwise.  Keep a set salary in mind when the interviewer asks about your salary requirements.  It is good to know your worth as well as how much the position pays on average, so do your research ahead of time.

5. Not Having Prior Knowledge of the Company - Become familiar with the company before you have your interview by looking them up online or in the news.  Candidates are commonly asked about their knowledge of the company during the interview.  Having some idea of what the company is about and what they do will show the employer you are passionate about the position.  You should jot down one or two recent important events about the company ahead of time.  Interviewers will often see dozens of candidates for the position they are trying to fill before making a final selection.  Being able to provide knowledge of the company will help you stand out as an applicant.