Check out the 5 things you should never do at an interview.

Y our educational qualifications and professional work experience are only a part of what will help you land a job. A big component of success is your performance at an interview. Your presentation, preparedness, attire, habits and mannerisms are all things that an interviewer will be watching out for. Here are a few things to remember and abide by:

  1. NEVER arrive late

Arriving late makes you appear unprofessional and disorganized and might actually lead to the interview being cancelled! In case you are delayed due to unavoidable circumstances – call in advance, apologize and request to reschedule at THEIR convenience.

  1. But don’t arrive too early either!

It gets awkward when you are hanging out with the receptionist for 20 minutes. In case you are early, take a walk outside and go in when there are about 10 minutes left. It can make for great small talk before the interview starts. “I arrived a few minutes early and had a chance to walk around the block. The Chinese restaurant smelled excellent!” Next thing you know you have been talking about their egg rolls for 10 minutes and you just got a leg up on the other applicants.

Bonus tip – DO take a car service like Lyft to your interview and don’t stress about traffic or parking. Use this link to sign up and get $10 off your first rides.

You cannot control what QUESTIONS you are asked, but you can definitely choose what questions YOU ask the employer.

  1. Do NOT show up empty handed.

Make sure that you come prepared with a GREAT RÉSUMÉ, some RELEVANT REFERENCES and a few INTELLIGENT QUESTIONS that you can ask at the end of the interview.

3.1 Your RÉSUMÉ is essentially all an interviewer has to go on until they meet you in person so it had better be perfect! It is always a good idea to have someone proofread it for any errors and formatting mistakes. Student Loan Club’s RÉSUMÉ CRITIQUING services can ensure you have a top notch résumé that will stay on top of the stack.

3.2 Your REFERENCES should ideally be work related. Sorry, your college buddy and older brother don’t count here. Try to include past bosses or supervisors if possible or you can always ask a teacher or other respected member of the community such as a police officer, politician or clergy member. ALWAYS speak to the person prior to listing them as a reference and make sure they will give you a positive review!

3.3 You cannot control what QUESTIONS you are asked, but you can definitely choose what questions YOU ask the employer. Make sure the questions are intelligent, well thought out and relevant to the particular role that you are applying for. Check out our list of the Best and Worst Questions for You to Ask an Interviewer.

  1. NEVER Dress inappropriately

First impressions are everything! Although many companies now allow for smart casuals during their normal work days, you should still opt for business formals for an interview. If you are interviewing for a client facing role, then this becomes doubly important as your attire and personal presentation will reflect the professionalism of your employer. When in doubt, ask the recruiter or person you set up the interview with. “Hey, quick question, what is the general daily attire at this company?” Nothing wrong with that and they will appreciate that you care.

  1. DON’T leave empty handed

Asking for business cards makes you appear serious about the interview and your future prospects there. It might also help you to build your network and when sending thank you notes!