You’re on time. You look great. Your resume slays. That doesn’t mean you aced your job interview. Here are four things to watch out for and avoid when you’re trying to get hired.
1. Revealing your current salary. You may not realize that revealing your current salary on a job interview is a mistake, but it is. Your potential employers can use that information to low-ball you. Instead, tell them the salary that you expect or want to make from them. They’ll be much more likely to meet your demands if they think you’ll pass for the better deal you have already.
2. Not asking enough questions. Sure, on a job interview your potential employers are interviewing you, but you should ask them a few questions, too, based on research you did before you sat down. It shows that you’re invested in what they do and that you’re truly eager to learn more about the company and your potential role within it.
3. Asking the wrong questions. A job interview isn’t the place to ask about days off, vacations, or anything else that involves not working. Save those for your salary negotiation later if they call you back, or else you’ll come off as lazy.
4. Not using the royal “we.” It’s normal to say “I” when you’re discussing your achievements and responsibilities at your current job, but using “we” is actually more impressive. It’s not that you’re not giving yourself credit, but you’re giving yourself credit as part of a team, which is a huge incentive for someone to hire you—it shows that you play well with others.
5. Not having a sense of humor. If you can make someone laugh, he or she will be less guarded. If he or she is less guarded, he or she feels like he or she can trust you. If someone trusts you, they like you. If they like you, well, you’re a lot more likely to get hired than the humorless but overqualified jerk who came in an hour earlier.
6. Not following up. If you don’t send a thank you note and/or a followup email, you may as well just say goodbye to the position. Shoot over an email immediately following the interview, then a handwritten note when you get home thanking your interviewer for their time and reiterating why you’re excited for the opportunity. Bonus points if you include a fun anecdote from your meeting because you have a killer sense of humor!