“I’m coming off as stupid? You’re wearing tuxedos to a job that requires you to clean bathrooms!” This is just one of the many interview fails that Brennan and Dale encounter in the movie Step Brothers as the interviewer draws attention to their inappropriate attire. Unlike Brennan and Dale, you don’t want to come off as “stupid” or unappealing when you are in your interview. If you display any of the following 7 bad interview habits, take our advice and change your ways!
FYI: Wearing a tuxedo to an interview is never appropriate. At NexGoal we may not be fashion experts, but we are common sense experts. What the interviewer see’s visually is what is going to make a lasting impression on them. Don’t make that lasting impression one of you wearing shorts, knee high socks, and sandals. Our advice to both men and women is to be professional and conservative in your approach. Figure out what the professional attire for that industry is and wear the most basic colors and accessories. You want to draw attention to your personal qualities not your $5000 Tiffany diamond necklace.
Bad news for those who prefer to “rock” or “dap”: the traditional handshake is going nowhere in the professional world. Nothing screams lack of confidence more than a weak handshake. For a proper handshake:
- Look other party directly in the eye
- Hold out right hand
- Grip his or her hand firmly (not crushingly)
- Shake (use your judgement on how many shakes)
Lack of Eye Contact:
Remember you’re not interviewing in a room by yourself! Engage all participants with eye contact both when you speak and when you are listening. Failing to do that can send the message that you are uncomfortable and lack confidence.
Discovering that you have bad posture might actually be harder to pick up on. You may have developed bad posture habits over years of doing the same thing and not even realized it! No worries though! Just make a conscious effort to display positive body posture during the interview. This means:
- Sit up straight
- Keep shoulders relaxed
- Keep both feet on the ground
- Do not hunch over or lean in
- Do not cross arms or legs
Overall you want to display body language that is open and makes you approachable.
So like, this habit can like, be super like, annoying for like, the listener. The dreaded filler words have ruined many an interview over the years. A good rule of thumb: if the word is out of place in writing, don’t use it when you talk. You would NEVER use “um” in writing! So don’t say it when you talk! Lose it from your vocabulary! Here are some other words/phrases we suggest you ditch:
- Whatever (shows disinterest)
- Ya know (No I don’t know! That’s why I asked!!)
- Uh (See “um”)
- So (Gets old real fast)
The best way to rid yourself of filler words is to just slow your rate of speech. Allow your mind time to catch up with your dialogue. More thoughtful speech will let you clearly articulate your message and not leave you grasping for words.
Fast Speech Pace & Negative Tone:
It’s not an auction. It’s an interview. There is no rush to finish the interview and you don’t want the interviewer to miss anything that you said. This means that you must deliver answers at a smooth pace and with composure and clarity. Also make sure to keep an upbeat tone in your voice. You should be excited for the opportunity to interview! Interviewers want to see you display that excitement and passion!
We hate that we even have to talk about this because it is such common sense! Yet we see time and time again interviewees who seem to throw all manners out the door in the interview. If you’re offered a drink your response should be “yes please” or “no thank you”, not “yeah” or “no”. Always address the interviewer by the name they introduced themselves as not “bro” or “lady”. Most importantly, thank them for their time after the interview is over. They didn’t have to take your interview so be appreciative of their time.