How ready are you for your next job interview? Even if you’ve researched the company and practiced your answers to commonly asked interview questions, you may completely blow it for yourself if you don’t follow some common-sense guidelines.

Here are eight behaviors that will put you on the “No” list before the interview has ended—if not before it’s begun!

1. Not dressing for success—First impressions matter. No matter what the job is, you need to make the right one with your appearance. Your clothes need to be clean, pressed, well fitting and appropriate for the company setting. Always dress one level above the dress code. Be clean, well groomed and wear appropriate footwear and accessories.

2. Acting like an egotistYes, you want to show these people that you are accomplished and experienced, but avoid bragging or acting as if you are superior to everyone in the room.

3. Showing no interest or enthusiasm—If you want the job, act like you want the job. Be interested in what the interviewers have to say, and ask questions of your own. And if you’re not interested in the job, don’t go to the interview. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

4. Focusing on salary—At this stage of the game, you’re there so your interviewers can assess your personality, evaluate your skills and discuss the role in more detail. It’s presumptuous to talk money during an interview. You can find out what you need to know about compensation after you have an offer in hand.

5. Having no explanation for performance or employment gaps—If you have gaps in your employment history, be prepared to discuss them. If you were let go from a job for performance issues, you’ll need to explain why. You should have legitimate reasons for both and be able to talk about them with honesty and confidence.

6. Ignoring basic courtesyIf you skip any of the essentials such as shaking hands, making eye contact and allowing your interviewer to speak without interruption, you can forget about getting the job. Be sure to arrive to the location early.

7. Badmouthing Previous Employers—This is a surefire way to give a new employer a terrible impression of you.

8. Not asking any questions about the organization or the position.—When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, you’d better have several. When you ask them, do so in such a way that shows the employer you’ve done your research on the company.

If you avoid all of these pitfalls, you’ll gain a better than average chance of making it to the next round in an interview. But if you’ve been on countless interviews and aren’t getting offers, contact Smith Hanley to discuss what we can do for you and your career!

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