You know to turn off your ringer and dress to impress, but the following surprising slips may not be on your radar.
Don't be cocky
Confidence-i.e., appearing composed and sure of yourself as opposed to like a nervous wreck-is always an appealing quality. Arrogance, on the other hand, made 51 percent of employers want to kick an applicant out of their office on the spot. No matter how much of a superstar you were at your last job, don't make it sound as if you single-handedly pulled off every amazing accomplishment.
Little things like bringing a latte with you, pushing aside a pile of papers on an interviewer's desk so you can plunk down your portfolio, or sneaking a glance at the clock can also make you seem self-important-as if your time and stuff are more valuable than theirs are. Another minor goof they see as arrogant: leaving your sunglasses on top of your head.
Say the magic words
Of course you don't want a potential boss to think you're gunning for the role of office kiss-ass, but playing it too cool can wreck your chances. 55 percent of bosses surveyed said a lack of enthusiasm is one of the biggest mistakes that a candidate make. Seriously.
Get the right message across by using words like 'exciting' and 'interesting'. To show you mean it, read up on the company's history and the industry in general before the interview, and slip some of the things you learned into the conversation.
Don't sound rehearsed
Most of us have gotten this well-meaning advice from a career counsellor: when you're asked "What's your biggest weakness? throw out something that's actually good, like "I'm a workaholic or "I am a perfectionist and won't stop until something's done right . Yeah...whatever! 34 percent of interviewers said they definitely notice when you respond to their questions with tired cliches. Granted, you don't want to confess anything truly incriminating, but it's okay to reveal a real weakness, provided you follow it up with how you're working to correct it.
Don't fail the question test
There are only a few minutes left in the interview, and you get what seems like a throw-away: "Do you have any questions for me? Answering "I don't think so can mess up the awesome impression you just made, since 34 percent of bosses said they're turned off when candidates don't ask smart questions. Why? Doing so shows that you've been paying attention and indicates that you're evaluating them too-not just jumping at the first job opening you hear about.
Prove you're a good listener by requesting that the interviewer elaborate on something she said earlier. And use this all-time great inquiry: "What type of people excel here? It never fails to impress!