Written by Anthony Balderrama, CareerBuilder.com writer:
Job searches, much like first dates, are about giving the other party — in this case the employer — a once-over and presenting yourself in the best possible way. Also similar to first dates, job searches give you several opportunities to make a single mistake that is a real turnoff.
You’re on your own when it comes to finding true love, but for staying in an employer’s good graces, we’ve got you covered. So put on your best clothes, style your hair and make sure you don’t make one of these job interview gaffes that are certain to turn off an employer:
Turnoff No. 1: Arriving too early for an interview
The reason: Interviews are scheduled at specific times for a reason. Hiring managers have other meetings and responsibilities to deal with throughout the day, so they can’t interrupt their schedule just to meet with you. Also, interviews often have multiple components. If you’re scheduled to meet the hiring manager first, then have a conversation with some potential colleagues, followed by a tour of the company and finally a drug test, an early (or late) arrival disrupts everyone’s schedule.
The solution: By all means, arriving early is better than arriving late. However, from an interviewer’s perspective, arriving 45 minutes early and letting the receptionist know you’ve arrived is just as bothersome as showing up 45 minutes late. If you get to the interview location too early, go to a nearby coffee shop, take a walk around the block or sit in your car to pass the time. Checking in with the front desk five or even 15 minutes early is acceptable and shows the employer you’re punctual.
Turnoff No. 2: Letting your desperation show
The reason: Although you have been looking for a job for several months or even longer, don’t let your frustration become the interviewer’s problem. A negative attitude that causes you to vent about the hardships of being unemployed can leave you reeking of bitterness and repel employers.
The solution: Don’t get us wrong — being unemployed can be one of the worst experiences a person goes through, and anyone who has been there understands that eventually you reach a point where you want to scream. Nevertheless, do your screaming before you get to the interview.
When you’re preparing for the interview, think like an employer. Do you want to hire the person with amazing qualification, a great personality and the potential to grow with the company? Or do you want to hire the person whose primary concern is getting a paycheck, who sounds angry and who might quit the moment a better job comes along? Enthusiasm impresses an employer; desperation does not.
Turnoff No. 3: Being too aggressive with your follow-up
The reason: Employers want to see enthusiasm from job seekers, but they don’t want to be inconvenienced by said enthusiasm. Two e-mails, a handwritten note, a few phone calls and a quick visit to the office just to see how things are going will not impress a hiring manager. That approach will scare them.
The solution: Again, enthusiasm wins over desperation every time. You need to send a thank-you note, and you can send both an e-mail and a postal letter to cover your bases. Pestering employers doesn’t just make you look desperate, it also annoys them. They don’t have time for so many distractions and eventually the first thing they’ll think of when they see your name is, “Oh, that’s the one who wouldn’t leave me alone.” Prove you have common sense, which includes knowing when to stop.