I recently went through some mock interviews with new dental hygienists and real interviews with individuals applying to be my assistant.
It’s made me reflect on all the interviews I’ve been in on over the years and some of the interesting experiences they have given me. So this week’s tips are five things you want to avoid the day of your job interview.
1. Lack of Rest
I know it’s easier said than done, but it really does make a difference. There have been countless studies that show lack of sleep while driving is akin to drinking and driving. Obviously, you mental capacity just isn’t as focused when you haven’t had much sleep. Do your best to get what your body needs (you know what that is).
2. Being Late
Plan your trip so that you can arrive at least five minutes early. It’s a huge red flag to an employer when someone is late. It could be for legitimate reasons, but they will still hold it against you. If you see you are going to be late call the office and let them know – that will actually bode well for you to do so because you are that type of person.
3. Poor Handshake and Little or No Eye Contact or Smile
There are some social norms employers expect and want from professionals they hire. Practice your handshake, eye-contact, and smile as those are three of the more noticeable traits in someone you interview. Body language and level of enthusiasm, along with voice tone and speed aren’t too far behind. The best advice is to simply seek balance in all of these things. Too much is weird, but so is too little. Find the balance by getting feedback from your family and friends as it’s sometimes hard for us to judge ourselves adequately.
4. Bringing Food or Drinks
Guaranteed you are going to spill them in the car ride over because that’s how Murphy’s Law works. The only exception would be some bottled water – anything else you are just asking for trouble.
5. Negative Thoughts and Feelings
This, too, can be tough. But it’s really hard to not have that affect you and your interview responses. You want to be at the top of your game and it’s really hard to get there if you are distracted with negative things.
I had a dentist tell me a hygienist applying for a job ran over a dog on the way to her interview with him. She wisely rescheduled. I would recommend that, too. But if you are only mildly negative or feeling down, bring some music that pumps you up on the way over. In fact, I would recommend that no matter how you feel.