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No matter how well prepared you may be, and no matter how many times you’ve practiced your elevator pitch, you’ll still need to keep an eye out for these common interview pitfalls. Even the most confident meeting can slip out of your control in a heartbeat if you aren’t paying attention to your interviewer’s cues and maintaining a sense of situational awareness. Watch out for these dangerous moves.

Yes-saying

This is a big one. Modern interviewers understand the realities of your life and your situation far better than “interviewer” stereotypes might suggest. For example, employers know that you have no intention of working for free (or for less than your skills are worth). They don’t expect this from you, and would actually respect you less if you worked for peanuts (or “future opportunity”, or approval) instead of money. They know that you won’t be spending 24 hours of your day in this office, and they expect you to prioritize your family above your job when you have to choose. Just be clear and straightforward about what you want, what you expect to be paid, and what you’re looking for.

Poor emotional control

It’s okay to be nervous. Employers expect this, and they typically interpret a little nervous energy as a sign of interest in the job. But stay in control and don’t overestimate the stakes. Breathe deeply. Pause before answering questions. Relax your arms, shoulders and hands, and don’t giggle or fidget.

Bragging

There’s a fine line between bragging and successfully selling yourself. Know the difference between confidence and arrogance. And when you aren’t sure, err on the side of grace, humility, and above all, honesty. Be likeable and trustworthy.

Accidental slips

There are party faux pas, and there are dating faux pas, and then there are interview faux pas, and they all have one thing in common: They’re usually thoughtless remarks that have bigger implications than we realize. To stay on the safe side, say absolutely nothing about your interviewer’s personal appearance, including compliments. Say nothing negative about your former employers or your industry. And don’t share any information that may be considered proprietary, including employer client lists, project timelines, formulas, or secrets.

Not asking questions

Ask plenty of questions during your interview, and keep your questions meaningful and genuine. This shows that you’re able to control your own destiny and you know how to get the things you want. It can also cast you as a reliable and experienced industry insider.

For more on how to ace your interview and land your dream job, contact the staffing team at Expert.

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