Top 10 Worst Job Interview Habits to Drop Now
Congratulations! You got the interview. It can be nerve-wracking, but it brings you one step closer to getting the job. So, how can you make the most of this opportunity? Start by taking a hard look at some bad personal habits you have that you might not even be aware of. They may be working against you and keeping you from being the candidate they choose.
Here are 10 “Bad Habits” you want to drop right now:
- IGNORING THE STAFF: Be aware that everyone you meet on the property, even before the interview begins, is important. Make sure you are pleasant and respectful to the security guard, the receptionist, other candidates and anyone else you come into contact with before the interview starts. You might be surprised to find that the hiring manager may ask them what they thought about you since it gives them insight into how you behave when you have your guard down.
- FIDGETING, NERVOUS BEHAVIOR: You may not even know that you tend to twirl your hair, tap your fingers or jiggle your knee when you’re nervous. These behaviors can be very distracting and demonstrate that you’re not comfortable interacting with people you don’t know. In the hospitality industry, you need to be calm, approachable and enjoy meeting guests from all over the world.
- LYING: This is an obvious deal-breaker in any interview. Don’t ever embellish, lie or fabricate a skill or experience. If you make a false statement and are asked to explain further, you may slip up and will come across as dishonest. Tell the truth.
- BAD BODY LANGUAGE: Sit up and pay attention. When you’re slouching, hunching over, not making eye contact or being stiff, pay attention to this habit. You don’t want to appear lazy or inattentive and that’s exactly what this body language is saying to the hiring manager. You’re showing him/her that you are disinterested.
- INTERRUPTING: Even though you’re excited, stop trying to finish the interviewers sentences or inserting your own story before they can even finish what they’re saying. It’s rude and frustrating to the person speaking. This is a definite no-no in the customer service business. Guests want to know that you’re actively listening and managers want to know that you can listen long enough to follow directions. Take a breath and stop thinking of what you want to say next. Just listen and respond when it’s your turn to speak.
- BEING OVERLY FAMILIAR: While you want to come across as confident and relaxed, the interviewer is not your friend. If you’ve done your research, you may have become familiar with their social media profile and been impressed with what you see. Do not try to joke with them or bring up topics that aren’t relevant to this position. Of course, you also don’t want to use any foul language, too many buzzwords or act “cute” when asked a question. Keep it professional at all times.
- NOT DRESSING APPROPRIATELY: OK, you want to make a great first impression. So, be sure you’re dressed for the job you want by looking neat and clean, wearing appropriate shoes, ensuring your hair is groomed and you’re attired based on the overall “tone” of the hotel or restaurant you’re entering. It also goes without saying that you don’t “touch up” your hair or make-up in public – head into the restroom to complete any final touches before the interview.
- BEING NEGATIVE: No one likes being around someone who complains all the time and has nothing nice to say… especially if you’re bad-mouthing your current/former boss and colleagues. In customer service, you want to project the image of someone who enjoys his/her job, loves working with people and is happy to help. Smile, be friendly and show some enthusiasm.
- NOT BEING PREPARED: It is job #1 for you to have done your homework and know about the company, the job and the duties required. If you are simply showing up without any prep, it looks as though you’re applying out of desperation and not because you’re interested in this particular job. Take the time to review the company’s website, check out the LinkedIn Profile of your interviewer and know the facts about this job. Prepare some insightful questions ahead of time to demonstrate that you’ve thought about the position and are interested in knowing more.
- SMOKING OR DRINKING: Never smoke or drink before your interview. While you may think that will help calm your nerves, the interviewer will smell it and may be offended. Many workplaces are smoke-free these days and even if your interviewer is a smoker, it is not appropriate. Alcohol may dull your responses and you run the risk of not presenting yourself as a sharp, intelligent candidate.