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SPARK3rdFloorYou think you’ve made it, you won the exclusive opportunity to interview with the company of your dreams. Then comes the crushing blow that you didn’t get the job.

What could have caused your dream to be dashed so quickly? Take a look at these top reasons hiring managers pass on potential candidates:

Untidy Personal Appearance

Going the extra mile on your appearance can make or break your interview, even in a company with a relaxed dress code. Be certain your clothing is free of wrinkles, your shoes are freshly polished, your hair is neatly combed, and your teeth freshly brushed. Paying attention to details in your appearance translates to a well-organized person.

TIP: Wear something that makes you feel fantastic. Whether it is a new shirt or favorite pair of dress shoes, your confidence will soar when you feel that you look great!

Inability to Express Information Clearly

Remember to prepare for your interview as you would for an exam. Review lists of common interview questions and have your answers ready. Think of clear and concise answers that highlight your skills and experience. There is no need to be long-winded, it will only trip you up!

TIP: Always bring notes. If you keep your answers short and concise your notes will also be minimal. These will help you stay on track and you will appear well prepared.

Lack of Genuine Interest or Enthusiasm

The last thing a hiring manager needs is a negative Ned or Nancy. Smile as much as possible and explain why you are excited to work for this company. Sharing background information about the organization shows you are excited and invested.

TIP: Walk in as you intend to leave, happy! Keep your mind on the prize, a job offer at the end of the interview. Think of how enthusiastic you would appear if you walk in with the same smile you envision yourself wearing as you walk out.

Minimal or No Eye Contact

In the United States, eye contact equals confidence and honesty. If you cannot make eye contact with the hiring manager you may be perceived as uninterested or untrustworthy. A stage trick to overcome this fear is to look at the person’s eyebrows or nose, they are in such close proximity it is difficult to determine if you are looking them in the eye or not.

TIP: Practice makes perfect. Everyday try to make eye contact with people you might otherwise ignore; a cashier at the store, teller at your bank, even your postal worker. Try this trick with anyone you cross paths with during the day and it will soon become second nature.

Being Late for the Interview

Plan on arriving at least ten to fifteen minutes early for your interview. This will give you a slight cushion should you run into traffic or construction on the way. If you do happen to get caught, call as soon as you know you’ll be late. Forethought is important and shows respect, it might just save your interview!

TIP: Do not rush yourself on the day of your interview. Take time off well before you’re scheduled to meet with your potential employer. If the interview is at 11:30 a.m., take the full morning and dedicate it to your preparation and timely arrival.

Take these tips with you to your next interview and amaze the hiring managers! For more information on open positions in the Ann Arbor area, subscribe to the SPARK Talent Newsletter.