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Being a fairly recent grad, I’ve been asked to help with our company's college recruiting efforts and interviews. This is typically something I look forward to every year and have been deemed a good judge of character. Every year I am surprised with at least one (usually more like 4 or 5) candidates that seem to have no understanding of what to do and more specifically NOT TO DO during a job interview.

Here’s my quick list of 7 ways to ensure you WON’T get the job…

1.       Use profanity to describe your old boss. We’re not buds yet. While it’s good to seem comfortable and relaxed, don’t act like we’re frat brothers!

2.       Interrupt. If I’m in the middle of providing you a little educational background on myself, don’t interrupt with “oh wow, who do you root for at the Florida/Georgia football game?!” Not now. We’ll talk about this deep and pressing issue at the water cooler if we ever get to work together…but now that you’ve interrupted me mid-sentence, you’ll likely never know.

3.       Pretend you have no weaknesses. It’s important to divulge real weaknesses during a job interview, not sugar coat your strengths with negativity. “I’m a perfectionist, which can be a weakness.” Candidates who cannot come up with at least one realistic weakness are a waste of time in my book. It tells me that you’re a liar and you are not self aware. Employers are not asking for your weaknesses to expose you, they’re attempting to make sure you’re a solid fit for the job. They don’t want to put you in a role that you will not enjoy or completely flounder in because of your unidentified weakness!

4.       Give one word answers. You should be prepared to have full conversations with your interviewer…not just respond with a yes or no. I should not be struggling to get you to talk. This is your time to shine! Interviews are one of the only situations where it is more than appropriate to boast. I’ve always enjoyed interviews because I like to think I know myself better than anyone else, they can’t stump you!

5.       Act desperate. Desperation leads me to believe two things:

              a. You’ve got a weakness that other employers have seen and you’re not willing to admit (or you’re not aware of – another red flag). If I think you’re sought after, I will want you more (I hear this is true in dating too).

              b. You’re not interested in THIS job, you’re interested in ANY job…which doesn’t convince me you’re a good fit for THIS one. You need to do some soul searching.

6.       Forget to do your research. If you don’t have the time to peruse the company website or stalk me on Linked In before the job interview, you probably aren’t that interested in the job. Information is so accessible these days it’s inexcusable to not have an idea of how your strengths and competencies would be a good match with the company. These are questions you should expect and can easily plan for…do your research!

7. Admit you're leaving. I've had candidates tell me they were interested in using our company for experience and then would like to start their own business. Owning your own business is an admirable goal, but don't exit the company before you even enter it. A company will not be interested in investing in you, if you're already ready to leave. It's comparable to asking your significant other to date you for a few more years, while simultaneously admitting that you'd like to marry someone one signs up for that!