How to Not Fail an In-Person Interview in 10 Ways (Automatically)

This post is to kind of follow up my phone interview tips that I posted last week. I know that there are plenty of interviewing tips out there, but I’m just going to really dumb it down for you. All of the things I’m mentioning here are common sense to most of us, but some of you might really just not think about it. If you follow these few tips you won’t be setting yourself up for fail right out the gate!

1. Dress up

I know this is a no-brainer, but you have no idea how many people show up in jeans. *palm to forehead* Guys – if you wear an undershirt, make sure it’s an undershirt! That means solid colors, not your Volcom emblem peeking out the top. Girls – dress up but be conservative. No one in the office is even going to give you a chance if they see you dressed like a teenager.

2. Don’t leave your sunglasses on your head

Take them off. You’re not going to need them any time soon. Leave them in the car if you think they’ll stay on your head, or set them on the table. They don’t make you cool or any more like-able.

3. Don’t kick back

Sit up straight. You are not chilling with your peeps on a couch. You’re in a freaking interview!!

4. Let the interviewer talk

Do not overrun the conversation. If you’re a talker, great! But when you’re talking, make sure to answer their question and only talk about your answer. Try not to stray from the original point, otherwise everyone gets confused. And if you’re a talker, limit yourself. I once sat in on 3 hour and 45 minute interview!! Almost 4 hours!!! We literally asked about 5 questions!

5. Don’t talk about wanting to build your resume

I know it may be true, you really are just looking to build your resume, but you don’t tell them that! No company wants to hear you say that you’ll be using them as a stepping stone and then bail out! In this interview this is THE job and the ONLY job.

6. Don’t bad mouth your previous employers

Interviewers are going to ask why you left your jobs and why you’re looking to leave your current one. They’re just looking for patterns or signs that you might jump ship as soon as you see a greener patch of grass. Whatever the reason was that you left, make sure you’re not telling your interviewer, “Well, I had a personality clash with the management. They had no clue what they were doing and I got sick of it.” Bad! Very bad! Make it about you and your needs to further your career! “I left that position because I wasn’t feeling challenged enough and there wasn’t any room for me to advance to get that challenge.” Better 🙂

7. Reasons for job hopping

If you’re a job hopper, hey that’s okay, shit happens. But when they ask about all your latest tenure…make sure you have some legitimate excuses. “I just didn’t like it anymore so I left,” is not a good answer. If you have some good explanations lined up, that will help your case!

8. Nerves

Trust me, I know, interviews are terrifying! They’re awful really. I get anxiety as an interviewer! Ha ha. If you know you’re shaky, try to keep your hands in your lap, don’t pick up any papers or use your hands to talk. Before you answer a question, take a deep breath and then say your answer. You don’t want to blurt it out so quick that you start rambling on from nervous talk!

9. Timing is everything.

You know that saying? If you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late; and if you’re late, you’re fired. Same goes for the interview. If you’re late, consider that 10 points against you and you’re really going to have to wow them. Don’t show up at 8:58 am for your 9:00 am interview. You should aim for about 10 minutes early. If you show up with 20 minutes to kill, sit in your car for 10 and then head inside with 10 minutes to spare. No need to look like the person with nothing to do all day!

10. Interactions are key

Believe it or not, some interviewers will leave you in the lobby a few extra minutes on purpose. They are going to see how you interact with the staff. So be very nice and chatty (but not too chatty) to the receptionists. They’re like little spies. The interviewer will probably come back afterwards and ask how you interacted with them. It’s tricky! So be nice and polite to everyone. EVERYONE. Hold that door open for people if you gotta!

Side note for your resume:

Make a professional email. With your initials or your name or a version of the two.  Your interviewer will look at it. And if it says “” or “” they’re probably going to pass on you.
Hope these help! Good luck to all of you! 🙂

4 thoughts on “How to Not Fail an In-Person Interview in 10 Ways (Automatically)

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