In a job market where the demand for talent seems to be greater than what’s actually available, you’d think that for a great candidate to ace an interview, anything can go.

But that just isn’t so. Good employers are actually being pickier than ever. If you want to avoid sacrificing your career happiness for the long-term or looking like a total tool, these are 4 things you really should NOT do as you have conversations with prospective employers.

1 – Tolerate unprofessional behavior.

First, how can you be sure your possible future employer is acting unprofessionally?

Your gut and common sense. Did they ask you to do something you don’t feel comfortable with? Did they show up late, no-show any of your interviews, or fail to keep a commitment without having a reason that would be acceptable if the tables were turned? (In other words, it must be a drastic reason).

Being flexible is good and it’s one thing, but setting the stage to be your future employer’s doormat makes you seem desperate and unworthy. If your interviewers don’t see value in following the Golden Rule, chances are their lack of consideration will only get worse later down the line when you’re stuck with them.

2- Confuse your interview with Casual Friday – or Friday night.

The world of work has changed. Tattoos are acceptable in many corporate environments. Billionaires live in v-neck tees and denim.

But for the love of humanity, don’t be confused about interview dates -they’re still a formal occasion.

You should show up to an interview via video or in-person looking your 100% best, with attention given to details like your watch, neat facial hair, and a well-fitting modern suit or other formal business attire.

Denim is not your friend on interview day, neither are the heels you usually wear on Girls’ Night Out. Dress to impress, and you will have more of a chance to land that job.

3 – Get Cocky.

This includes:

  • Talking too much.
  • Being so self-absorbed or focused on performing that you don’t establish a real connection. Failing to read your interviewer’s body language and pick up on verbal cues can leave you clueless about how you did and ensure you don’t get picked.
  • Thinking you’re the only one that deserves the job and there’s no one better for it. You can be confident, but there’s always someone better.

4 – Go Unprepared.

You may be really good at what you do, but talking about what you do in a structured and effective way is in and of itself a skill.

Especially if you haven’t been out interviewing for a while, you need to get back up to speed on what’s appropriate in terms of answering popular interview questions, having stories to tell, and how much or little information -or what specific information- you should share.

I promise you – the boring task of preparing talking points on your skills, accomplishments, failures, and being ready with well thought-out questions will help you avoid tongue-tied, foot-in-mouth, and other embarrassing moments, AKA interview fails.

If you’ve heard this all before, I get it.

There’s not much that’s new when it comes to interviewing, but times change, and so do expectations. So, this is just a refresher and confirmation that for 2019, interviews are still a time to present the best version of you.

Good luck, and let me know if there are any specific interview do’s and dont’s you need help with!