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Here's how to avoid "shooting yourself in the foot" at your job interview ...
Get that "Dream Job" - Even in a Recession!

Step 7: Finally, Avoid these Fatal Mistakes at All Costs ...
Illustration: A teacher gives a lecture on how to prepare for a successful job interview.
Want to know what you should NOT do at your job interview? You can learn much from the mistakes of others!

What NOT to do during an Interview:

1. Don't arrive late for the interview. Very few offers will go out to any candidate who arrives late regardless of how strong of a candidate or how well they recovered during the interview.

Having said that, obviously circumstances arise that are out of everyone's control: train/bus delays, traffic, a flat tire or car troubles (for real – not just the typical excuse). Our best advice is simply to give yourself enough time to overcome any obstacles/variables that would cause you to be late for your interview. Even test-drive the commute the day before to make sure you know how to get to the company's location. However, if you still find yourself running late, then simply call the interviewer! Give your prospective employer that courtesy ... it just might be the only thing that saves you from being disqualified for the job before you even walk through their front door.

2. Never give any indication that you are late because the directions given to you by your prospective employer were wrong. Again, test-drive the commute the day before an interview to make sure you know how to get to the company's location.

3. Don't look disheveled and inappropriately dressed. Most companies have dress codes. According to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55% of another person's perception of you is based on how you look. Her Dressing for Success information gives some tips on how to look your best, without necessarily spending a lot of money. Here's a quick look at the basics

4. Don't slouch in your seat and maintain good eye-contact with the interviewer. It's important to maintain good eye contact with the interviewer, but be sure not to fixate yourself on the person. Smile often and present an upbeat attitude. Watch your posture. Don't fidget. Offer a firm handshake at the beginning and end of your time with each person you meet. Be polite and treat everyone with respect.

6. Never do your company research during the interview by asking, "What do you guys do here?" Learn as much as you can about the firm AND the person/people who will be conducting the interview. TIP: Try searching Linkedin or Facebook.

Be sure to read the press releases and other important recent announcements. Look for a key quote or strategic opinions from the CEO or President.

•Find out who the company's competitors are and learn about them.

•Understand who the current and potential customers are for the company.

7. Never fail to make a connection between your skills and the needs of the employer, or brag about how great you are, but neglact to cite evidence of your accomplishments. You are probably applying for a particular job because the job description matches your experience. Review your own resume in advance; know what's on it and be prepared to answer questions on every detail. Anticipate and prepare for what will be asked of you based on your resume as well as the job itself. Think of how you will articulate the goals of the individual projects that you worked on and be ready to precisely define your role in them. Give in depth answers, and show how your qualifications match the position

8. Badmouth your current or former employer. Don't Badmouth former employers or anyone for that matter: As in society, people gravitate to those who remain positive. There is no room for negativity in an interview. If you had a bad "break up" with your last position, don't dwell on it. Spin the positive experience that you gained from the job. If you didn't like a former boss, simply state that you didn't see eye to eye. Take the high road; don't throw anyone under the bus. It's a small world ... and you never know whom the employer or the interviews know.

9. When asked "Do you have any questions?", reply "No". If you don't ask questions, the interviewer can easily infer that you're not interested in the company.

But also know
what questions not to ask. For example, don't inquire about salary, bonuses, vacation time, benefits or your office space. These questions are appropriate only after there is serious interest in hiring you. If you're asked what salary you want, give a range based on your research, but indicate that you're also interested in the opportunity itself.

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