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AVID Technical Resources Founder's Story - Taking Calculated Risks

10 Things Not To Do During a Job Interview

With so many articles out there explaining what to do in a job interview, our IT recruiters decided to take the time to focus on what not to do.  Whether you’re new to the interview process or an industry veteran, AVID technical recruiters have compiled the following list of 10 things to avoid during your job interview:

1)    Don’t Show Up Late The cardinal sin of interviewing.  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 IT job 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).  Take from an IT recruiting firm who has seen and heard it all – our best advice is simply to give yourself enough time to overcome and 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 client’s location.  However, if you still find yourself running late…. then simply call the interviewer!  Give the client or IT recruiting company the 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)    Don’t Show Up Unprepared If you want another major strike against your candidacy, then show up unprepared for your IT job interview.  Instead, do some research on the company before your meeting.  In today’s information technology age, this is as easy as a click of a button.  Therefore, have the initiative to find out exactly what the company does and formulate some insightful questions.  Just as important, bring something to write with and write on…. then use them!  Lastly, be sure to bring copies of your resume and ask the employer or technical recruiters whether they would like one.

3)    Don’t Dress Inappropriately or Pay Little Attention to Your Appearance You only get one chance to make a first impression.  Take some basic steps to ensure you’re presentable for your interview.  Brush your hair, shave, use deodorant and make sure you’re buttoned up for your meeting.

4)    Don’t Remain Seated When Shaking Interviewer’s Hand Although subtle, this is professional courtesy.  If you are seated when the employer or IT recruiters enter the room, stand up and shake their hands.  Remaining seated is a slight sign of disrespect and even laziness.

5)    Don’t Sit Before Being Offered a Chair Another subtle sign of disrespect, the candidate should not make an assumption as to where the employer or technical recruiter would like to sit…or even that they will be conducting the interview in that very room.

6)    Don’t Act Too Familiar or Be Too Comfortable With Your Interviewers:  You should be on your professional game throughout an IT job interview.  Don’t let your guard down and become too comfortable.  Refer to the interviewers by the name in which they introduce themselves to you.  Do not shorten it (and call “Robert,” “Rob” for example).  Do not throw out any slang and certainly never curse or use any unprofessional language.  The interview should be closer to a boardroom experience rather than a playground.

7)    Don’t Lie or Make up Answers There’s no room for lying.  Ever.  This starts from the day you put together your resume to your last day on the job.  If you have gaps in employment, just be prepared to talk about it and explain what you did during this time.  If you don’t know an answer to a question, simply state that.  Don’t try to make something up that will only hurt your credibility (especially in a technical interview).

8)    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 technical 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 (especially in information technology).  You never know whom the employer or IT recruiters know in the industry.

9)    Don’t Fail to Ask QuestionsYou should come prepared with a list of questions to ask before any interview (no, salary is not one of them unless this is your second or third interview for the same role).  If additional questions come to mind during the meeting, simply write them down and ask when appropriate.  This is a great way to organize your thoughts - it also shows the client or IT recruiters that you’ve been listening to what they’re saying and have interest in the opportunity.   

The most important question to ask as the conclusion of an interview:  “when can I follow up?”  This provides you with a timeline and allows you to have some sort of control so you’re not hounding the employer or just stuck waiting for a response.

10)    Don’t Fail to Follow Up
Post-interview, the first step in following up is a simple email to thank the hiring manager(s) or IT recruiter(s) for their time.  This should be done the same day – no exceptions to ensure you put your best foot forward.  If you met with multiple people, send an individual note to each (don’t kill yourself writing a novel, but at the same time, add some substance and reference something from your conversation).  Do not cut and paste the exact same message if sending out multiple emails to clients. 

Additionally, and most importantly, follow up.  Most companies are not going to hire someone on the spot.  The reality is that you’re trying to gain employment with their company.  Therefore, it’s up to you to go above and beyond and do everything you can to grab a hold of the opportunity.  Following up shows persistence, interest in the opportunity and could easily set yourself apart from your competition.

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