We’ve all heard of (and maybe had) common dreams people have when they’re under pressure professionally — showing up naked to make a big presentation, or completely forgetting to show up for a job interview. Sometimes, reality is even scarier than our dreams, and these common job interview mishaps are too nerve-wracking to ignore.

Here are 10 scary job interview mistakes and how to make sure you don’t make them and spook yourself out of a job.

1. Mysteriously forgetting the name(s) of whomever is interviewing you.

It’s as though someone wiped your mind clean. You walk in, shake hands, smile, and promptly blank on your interviewer’s name. When you schedule the interview, ask for the names of anyone who’ll be interviewing you. Repeat them to remember them, and when you get to the interview and meet everyone, repeat their names back to them — “It’s nice to meet you, Bill” — so you’ll remember who is who.

2. Getting lost on the way to the company and arriving late.

There’s no excuse for this one — unless the company magically moved overnight. Look up directions to the interview ahead of time online, then, if possible, do a practice run to make sure you know where you’re going.

3. Acting stiff as a mummy throughout the interview.

Loosen up! Acing the interview is just as much about how you look as what you say. Being stiff, nervous, and twitchy leaves a bad impression. Take a few deep breaths, remember to smile, and tell yourself to loosen up throughout the interview.

4. Completely blanking when asked a tough question.

Questions like, “What is your biggest weakness?”, “Why are you looking for a job?”, What are your salary requirements?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” are truly difficult to answer. But if you practice them ahead of time, rehearsing your answers over and over, you’ll handle them with ease during the interview.

5. Blurting out how much you hated your last job.

Badmouthing your last job, boss, or company is a frightful mistake, no matter how deserved your criticism is.

6. Showing up dressed like a zombie compared to your interviewers.

Check out the company’s website and, if possible, “stalk” the company ahead of time to see how people dress, and try to mimic their style. Or, play it safe and always wear a suit to your job interviews.

7. Being interrupted by your ringing cellphone.

It might seem as though your cellphone is haunted because it only rings during the worst possible moments. To avoid this, make it a pre-interview ritual to turn off your cellphone, double-check your appearance (no parsley in your teeth!) and pop a breath mint before going into a job interview.

8. Smelling like the undead (or overly perfumed).

Would you rather an interviewer remember your overpowering scent, or the awesome answers you gave during the interview? For job interviews, the best course of action is to not wear perfume or cologne at all. As long as you’re freshly showered and your clothes are clean, you shouldn’t need it.

9. Not offering job references, or offering bad ones.

Leading your interviewers on a wild goose chase as they try to track down your bad references, or worse yet, giving them none at all,

means death to your chances. Bring a list of at least three current, reachable job references to every interview and include their phone numbers and email addresses.

10. Grunting like Frankenstein when asked if you have any questions.

The last question of almost every job interview is, “So, what questions do you have for us?” and “none” is not an answer. Bring five to seven thoughtful questions that show you’ve researched the company and are prepared for the job.
What About the Costumes?

When it comes time to choose a costume, you don’t have to go it alone. Whether it’s a classic group such as the gang from Scooby Doo, or everyone from Snooki to The Situation on the Jersey Shore, it can be fun to have a group theme.

When looking to advance your career, collaboration is king. Studies show that up to 70% of jobs are found through networking, so if you’re not meeting with people on a regular basis, working with a mentor, and building out your contacts on LinkedIn, you’re missing the boat.

For many, the most important key in a costume are the accessories. It’s one thing to put on a bunch of gold jewelry and a weightlifting belt and go as a vintage Mr. T. It’s another to shave your head into the Mohawk/beard combo (like a co-worker of mine did 2 years ago).

Details also count during your job search. Did you deeply research the company before an interview? Is your resume spotless of typos? Did you get the name of every person you met with and send a thank you email? Do you have a portfolio of your best work to present during a review? It’s the little things that count.

Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exhibition
October 27-29
Lafayette LA


About facet
FACET is a human resources consulting firm specializing in the four phases of the Talent Management Cycle: Attract, Retain, Develop, and Transition. The Group's practice specifically addresses facilitation of smooth career/life transitions for individuals leaving organizations as well as career management, leadership training and coaching for employees whose assignments within organizations are impacted by change or other organizational needs. By application of several directions of pursuit, the corporation accomplishes a single goal: maximum utilization of human resource potential and productivity through efficient hiring, training and career development. The Facet Group was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana. As an ARBORA GLOBAL PARTNER, The Facet Group shares a parallel philosophy of the highest quality and standards with other owner invested firms. Through this network, we provide services worldwide. To address organizational needs outlined by its clients, The Facet Group offers a comprehensive package of workplace consulting services, focusing on providing high quality, creative programs which favorably impact the bottom line.

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