Search
Advice » Interviewing» Interview Preparation » Keep Your Guard Up at the Inte ...
Keep Your Guard Up at the Interview

Keep Your Guard Up at the Interview

All the signals indicate the job is yours: You've endured hours of interviews, and now you're standing in front of the receptionist's desk with a potential colleague, engaging in harmless banter. The topic turns to your current job, and you tell her you can't wait to bail on your psycho manager and out-of-touch CEO.  

You've just shot your chances. Once word gets back to your potential employer about this "harmless" exchange, you're pegged as a malcontent.

"We're all human, and when things start feeling good, we let our guard down," says Dave Sanford, executive vice president of client services at recruitment firm Winter, Wyman & Co. "You can't let your guard down."

Interviews are fraught with opportunities to ruin your chances of landing an offer. Unless you're vigilant, you may sabotage yourself. Check out these tips to stay on your toes.

Don't Get Too Comfortable

Job seekers should not buy into the myth that they should just be themselves during an interview, according to career coach and Monster Interview Expert Marky Stein. "It's a highly ritualized form of interaction," Stein says. "If you think you're not under the most strict scrutiny, you're going to slip up."

Perhaps more than any other mistake, interviewees get too comfortable and lose sight of the fact it is an interview -- a delicate situation requiring a careful dance between the job seeker and interviewer. If you appear too relaxed, you may unintentionally create the impression you don't really care whether you get the job.

Too many people slump back in their chairs, perhaps thinking they look relaxed. "I recommend that people sit right at the edge of their chair," Stein says.

Sanford says job candidates often get too comfortable just at the wrong moment -- when they're getting signals the job is theirs. "What ends up happening is the candidate will start to move from ‘I'm on my best behavior' to thinking ‘the job is mine,' and they stop being deferential," he says. Deference is essential throughout the interview process. Don't act like the interviewer is your best buddy -- he's not.

Follow the First-Date Rule

"I consider an interview like a first date," Stein says. "Interviewees, thinking that they're getting sort of friendly, (sometimes) reveal distasteful things about themselves. Most people on their first date present the best foot forward." That means not telling interviewers about your health problems or financial woes.

Don't Babble or Ramble

When nervous, job seekers often talk too much, sometimes about the wrong things. To avoid rambling, you've got to practice, says Jenna Gausman, a career counselor with Kerwin and Associates. Think about drafting potential interview questions and even conducting a mock interview with a friend or relative.

Show Up Early

Too often, job seekers don't leave themselves enough time to visit the bathroom, check their hair and otherwise feel prepared. Career counselor Judith Gerberg suggests showing up 15 minutes early, giving yourself enough time to visit the washroom. Stretch and yawn, she says, in order to release any tension -- and decrease the likelihood of slip-ups.

Respect Everyone

"These days, people get feedback from whoever you've met," notes Gerberg. "If you're rude to anyone along the line, that will get back to the boss." So be nice to assistants, receptionists and everyone else you encounter along the way.

Don't Drink

Interviews sometimes are conducted over meals or at other social events, which might include alcohol. Never consume alcoholic beverages in interview situations, Stein recommends. You can say something like, "I drink on occasion, but I'll have an iced tea today." Alcohol inevitably makes you let your guard down -- just what you don't want to happen.

Avoid Hot Topics

Religion, politics and other controversial topics should be off limits, says Gausman. Don't think you'll win points by sharing your views on same-sex marriage or stem-cell research.

Latest Jobs

CyberCoders
Posted: 10/21/2014
Cincinnati, OH, 45215
CyberCoders
Posted: 10/21/2014
Encinitas, CA, 92023
CyberCoders
Posted: 10/21/2014
Urbana, IL, 61801
CyberCoders
Posted: 10/21/2014
San Francisco, CA, 94104
CyberCoders
Posted: 10/21/2014
Dallas, TX, 75201

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.65.72-202
eTrustLogo