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Congratulations! Your résumé was picked out of thousands of others applying for the same job and you were invited for an aptitude test. The test was difficult, but you passed it. Now, the only thing standing between you and the job is your ability to impress your interviewer and prove to him that you are deserving of it. You may be smart and seem tailor-made for the job, but these little mistakes might just sabotage your previous efforts.
  • Inappropriate Dressing: The reason why the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ is popular is because people generally make judgments based on physical appearance. In other words, you would be weighed by your dressing the moment you step into that interviewer’s office. It is important that you dress according to the role that you are applying for as well. Formal dressing is advised for professional jobs and business; casual for non-professional ones.
  • Arriving Late: Everyone knows that first impressions are very important in landing a job, but did you know that you can make a bad first impression before you even arrive at your interview? Nothing says “bad time management” like rushing into your important appointment, especially when you had enough notice to enable you prepare beforehand. Find out where the venue of your interview is the day before and how much time it takes to get there, and set out an hour early. If you happen to live on Lagos Mainland and have to appear on the Island for an interview, setting out a full two hours before your appointment will save you the embarrassment of showing up late.
  • Bringing Food/Snacks Along With You: This one is particularly tempting because the duration of the wait before the interview might be unknown to you. Hence it may seem like good preparatory thinking to bring along some snacks or a drink to eat in the lobby. Please banish the idea. The person behind a desk waiting to ask you questions isn’t your only interviewer; everyone at the organization who sees you before and after your session is. Eating in the hall just does not present a professional image. Eat before your interview. If you need to keep yourself busy just in case you anticipate being delayed before being attended to, it is more advisable that you take a book with you.
  • Using Your Phone: Before you get to your interview, please put your phone on silent mode. Texting during your interview is not only rude and disruptive, but it’s a pretty clear message to your potential employer that you have more important things that will swing your focus away from the job.
  • Not Knowing about The Company: Don’t let your potential employer stump you with the question, “What do you know about this company?” It’s one of the easiest questions to ace, if only you take time to do some research before your interview. Background information including company history, locations, divisions, and a mission statement are available in the “About Us” section on most company websites. Review it ahead of time, then print it out and read it over just before your interview to refresh your memory. Also, you can follow the company on their social media pages, if they have one.
Good luck!

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This article was first published on 5th September 2013 and updated on September 25th, 2013 at 10:50 pm

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