There's no denying that a job interview can be incredibly stressful. Most candidates secretly fear that nerves will get the best of them, making them lose their composure and, ultimately, the job.
One misstep during an interview doesn't necessarily mean you're out the door, but it's always best to make sure you're prepared to avoid mistakes. Two hiring experts shared six things you shouldn't do during a job interview, and what you should be doing instead:
Mistake No. 1: Pretending you can do it all. One common interview mistake is telling the hiring manager that you are good at or can do any task he or she describes, even if you can't. John Mahony, COO of staffing agency Kavaliro, said that honesty is the best policy.
"In most cases, managers are looking for individuals that can stand out in a few specific areas," Mahony told Business News Daily. "Be honest in an interview and know your strengths and weaknesses. If you sell yourself on something you are not, you will be exposed very quickly if you do get the job."
Mistake No. 2: Dismissing questions about social media. It's a well-known fact that recruiters use social media to find and research job candidates nowadays, and trying to avoid the issue isn't going to do you any favors. If you're asked a question about personal social media use during an interview, don't balk at it or dismiss it, because your answer could actually work in your favor.
"Use your online presence to discuss the latest trends you notice, how you view brands using social media, and to open up about your personal side," said Pete Kazanjy, founder of recruiter search engine TalentBin. "[If] recruiters and hiring managers reach out via social media channels, engage with them. You never know where it may lead."
Mistake No. 3: Bringing in negative energy. A positive attitude can go a long way, especially in a job interview. When you drag in bad experiences from previous employers or interviews, a hiring manager may get a negative impression of you.
"If your confidence is low, or you are [talking] down about the companies that you have worked for in the past, why is a manager going to want to add you to the team?" Mahony said.
Mistake No. 4: Overlooking interests and hobbies. You may not think your outside interests are relevant to the job you're applying for, and some of them probably aren't. But bringing them up during the interview may demonstrate some important skills that you may not have thought about.
"If you love to code, work with a local animal shelter, or write poems, talk about it," Kazanjy said. "Your interests and hobbies can translate into highly valued skills for the job you interview for. For example, coding shows your love for tech and attention to detail; working at a local volunteer position shows passion; and writing shows creativity — all universally great skills."
Mistake No. 5: Failing to research the company. Every job seeker has been told to prepare answers for basic interview questions, and yet a surprising number of candidates don't think to brush up on their knowledge of the organization interviewing them.
"Candidates need to come into an interview prepared," Mahony said. "Spend time online researching the company, and come to the table with enough insight to help the conversation flow. If a manager asks what you know about the company, you do not want to respond with a blank stare."
Mistake No. 6: Not asking questions. Nothing demonstrates unpreparedness quite like coming up empty when a hiring manager asks you if you have questions. You should always be able to think of something you want to ask about the job, the company or its culture.
"While you may get grilled for the bulk of an interview, come prepared with certain topics to discuss," Kazanjy said. "For example, inquire about the interviewer's favorite aspects of a company or their background in the field. This shows your interest and motivation to learn more about the company and your colleagues."
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Originally published on Business News Daily.