Ten Things Engineers Should Not Do At A Job Interview

The demand for engineers has significantly risen over the years. Currently, engineering is one of the most popular fields for college students entering the job market. Engineering jobs are abundant in fields such as petroleum engineering, computer engineering, chemical engineering and aerospace engineering. Regardless, applying for a job is often a stressful process for most people. When we receive an invitation for an interview it is often a good indication that a company is interested in finding out more about your skills and qualifications. Undoubtedly, a critical stage in the entire job search process, many people have lost out on their dream job because of some basic mistakes that recruiters are unable to overlook despite their glowing qualifications. Some of the things to avoid if you don’t want to ruin your engineering job prospects include:

1. Do Not Arrive Late

There is always an excuse to be late: traffic, bad directions, car broke down. However genuine this excuse may be all it really says is that you are unable to organize yourself and lack respect for your future employer’s time. If a candidate cannot arrive on time for one of the most important meetings of his career, why would an employer expect different behaviour on the job? Candidates should always plan for their journey beforehand, especially if it is in an area they are unfamiliar with. One should always aim to arrive early and using the extra time for last minute preparations.

2. Do Not Dress Inappropriately

During a job interview, the first impression often determines how seriously an employer will consider you. One may have the best qualifications amongst all the interviewees but if you turn up displaying excessive cleavage or sagging pants your chances quickly diminish before the eyes of the recruiter. A well groomed and properly dressed candidate sends out the message that they understand the level of professionalism that will be required for the position, even if the work environment is casual. Candidates should pick attire that matches their capabilities and will keep the interviewer’s attention on the actual interview, not their physical appearance.

3. Do Not Use Curse Words Or Slang

Whether in a formal or informal setting, an interview is always a serious conversation that requires the appropriate use of good grammar. Even if one feels like the interview is going their way or is exceedingly nervous, reverting to use of slang or curse words shows disrespect. Using offensive words that refer to people of other genders, sexual orientations, nationalities, ethnicities, races, handicaps, and religions is also not acceptable. The interviewer should always understand what you are saying and take you seriously. Candidates must strive to maintain professionalism at all times as long as they are in contact with a potential employer.

4. Do Not Talk Badly About Your Former Employer

Ever been on a date and had someone bash their ex repeatedly? All that negative talk never leaves a great impression. Neither does criticizing your former boss to your potential employer. No matter what issues or scandals may have arisen to make you leave the company, keep the negative talk to a minimum. It only tells your recruiter that you will display the same lack of professionalism with them should a difference of opinion arise. It is better to provide a diplomatic response and focus on the responsibilities and accomplishments you held at your previous job.

5. Do Not Give Obviously Rehearsed Answers

While it is important to prepare adequately for an interview and rehearse your responses in advance it is also important that you remain natural. The recruiter does not want to interview a robot who mechanically shoots out correct responses to every question, as if pre-programmed. It is important that a candidate comes out relatable, natural and competent. One needs to convince the interviewer that they can think on their feet and blend in well into the workplace.

6. Do Not Forget To Carry Out Some Research On The Company You Are Applying   To

“Um…..So what do you guys do?” This is the last thing that should ever leave a job candidate’s mouth during an interview. Why would you apply for a position if you have no idea what the company does? There is a high possibility that during the interview you will be asked about what you know of the company. Coming up with a blank stare and an incoherent response will not do much to sell you to your potential boss. Knowledge of a company’s background and current activities shows that one is really interested not only in the position but the company as a whole.

7. Do Not Answer Your Phone Or Text

One of the biggest mistakes you can commit during an interview is answering your phone or sending out a text. Not only does it display bad manners, it says that you are unable to give your undivided attention to your potential employer. Regardless of how important something may be, turn your phone off or put it away until the interview is complete. Keeping the interviewer waiting as you ramble off on your phone is like signing a death warrant for a potential job.

8. Do Not Forget To Ask Questions

Asking questions about the company is one way to impress a potential employer. It opens further opportunities for additional discussions and shows interest in the company. However, candidates should avoid asking questions which can easily be found on the company website or after a quick search on Google. Also, asking a few questions about the company allows one to make a decision about the company that you plan on working for. Employers often expect you to have questions prepared whether they are based on the corporate culture or more in-depth questions on the job position.

9. Do Not Lie

Former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson famously padded his resume with a computer science degree he actually didn’t have. It didn’t take long before the company replaced him. It is not uncommon for candidates to lie during an interview in order to get a job. However, things quickly go south when an employer finds out that they have recruited someone who lacks the right qualifications and skills or has a criminal background. Sure, a lie can get you in but should it ever be unearthed the ramifications can be detrimental to your career.

10. Do Not Ask About Salary, Benefits, Perks

Asking questions about your salary too early into the interview often makes a candidate look like they are interested in the position solely for the monetary benefits they stand to gain. Remember, there are other candidates working hard to sell themselves by highlighting their qualifications rather than how much they stand in the gain. In the long run an employer is interested in hiring someone they cannot do without. It is best to discuss salaries and perks once an offer is made by the employer.


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