What You Should Not Do at a Job Interview

What not to do when you land the elusive job interview.

ByABC News via GMA logo
September 12, 2008, 8:25 AM

Sept. 26, 2008 — -- Congrats! Your resume has finally found its way to the top of the pile and now you're being called in to interview so they can see what you're really made of. The pressure is on, but you can thrive with proper preparation.

I've interviewed many candidates who admit to not having looked at my company's Web site. They assume we'll talk about the company during the interview. When I realize that, the interview is over. Don't wing it. Invest time by going to the company's Web site to learn as much about it as possible. Find about everything you can about its position in the industry in which it operates and any current news surrounding that field. Google the person you're meeting. Prepare anecdotes to defend your resume. Many times a savvy interviewer will say, "It says here you did X. Explain that to me." This is the easiest thing for you to bat out of the park, but so many people mess up here by not prepping in advance.

From "tell me about yourself" to naming your biggest weakness to revealing what you hope to be doing five years from now, it's often the most obvious questions that candidates spend the least time preparing. That's a mistake. Click here for a series of likely and potential interview questions.

By the time you've been called for an interview, an initial judgment has been made that you likely have the hard skills to do the job. Your education, experience and knowledge -- all of which are listed on your resume -- have given the employer reason to want to talk to you. A big part of the interview process is to size up your soft skills -- your personality, your work style and preferences. Will you be a good fit for the culture? Will they like working with you every day? How's the chemistry? It's critical to connect personally, which can be started through chit chat in the first three minutes. Find some kind of common ground -- local sports (wow, how about that game); a photo (oh, is that your toddler); even art or an award hanging on the office wall. This initial small talk can break the ice and set the tone for a more comfortable conversation.