interview mistakes to avoid

Think you know all the interview pitfalls to avoid? Think again. No matter how many times you’ve interviewed, when you finally land “the one,” you’ll want to pull out all the stops. Which is why we’re so grateful to Create + Cultivate for sharing more of their expert advice on the workforce with us. Writer Arianna Schioldager dishes, below.

“Grandma Dawn is turning 89 this year and still comes to the office every day,” says Natalie Levine over coffee (mine) and mint lemonade (hers).  She can’t drink caffeine after 2pm, “or she’ll be up all night,” explains her sister Emily.

The referenced “office” is Century City-based Career Group Companies, a staffing firm specializing in full-time and temporary placement of administrative staff for today’s leading companies. Founded in 1981 by the sisters’ then 25-year-old mother, Susan Levine, it remains a family run business.

Emily serves as Vice President, Natalie as Senior Account Manager, and dad, Michael Levine is CEO. Grandma Dawn, “in her Chanel and Etro,” is an office staple.

“Our mom was a pioneer of the boutique staffing firm,” says Natalie, “when staffing was all about making the deal, instead of the people side of the business.”

It’s this hands-on people-centric approach that propels Career Groups clients’ businesses forward and makes a difference in applicant’s lives. The company now employs approximately 150 people with offices in LA, New York, Redwood Shores, San Francisco, and Connecticut.

Candidates come to Career Group Companies by appointment only and leading companies rely on the CGC to deliver top notch direct hire and freelance/temp candidates for their open jobs. “We are essentially job match makers,” they explain. “We grant candidates access to exclusive companies, and we serve as their counselors along the way. We are there for every step of the process, from assisting with their resumes, interview tips, delivering the offer, and more.”

Jobs are their job. And we make jobs are our business.

So for the graduating class of 2016, who better to ask the the do’s and don’ts of the interviewing process? According to Emily and Natalie here are 8 common mistakes you should avoid:

1. Not writing a thank you note.

Or not proofreading a thank you note. This is a chance to show off your writing skills, so a typo in a follow-up letter is most definitely a red flag. It’s important to thank the interviewer for their time. Hiring managers want to move forward with candidates who leave a positive impression and have good manners!

2. Not asking questions at the interview.

Even if an interviewer is extremely thorough during the meeting, it’s always important to convey interest and come prepared with questions. A lot of applicants don’t realize that they should ask questions.

Hiring managers want to move forward with candidates who leave a positive impression and have good manners!

3. Not blocking your social media.

Most companies are checking Instagram, Facebook, Google searches, IMDB, and more. You shouldn’t have anything (public) on the internet that you wouldn’t want HR at a company to see before even meeting you. First impressions cannot be taken back and it’s important to remember that companies are concerned with their own reputation, and want to bring people into their companies that are aware of their presence.

4. Don’t lie on your resume.

If you didn’t receive a college degree, do not put that you graduated! Fact check your GPA. Triple check your dates of employment. Candidates will lose offers at the end of an interview process if a background check exposes falsifications on the resume or application. Honesty is the best policy here, always.

5. Don’t inflate your previous salary.

Be accurate about your previous salary. Don’t inflate your previous salary to get a higher offer. Companies will pull w2s to verify earnings more often than not. If you didn’t make the dollars, it doesn’t make sense to pretend you did.

If you didn’t make the dollars, it doesn’t make sense to pretend you did.

6. Never be late. Ever.

Being on time means being 10 minutes early. You need to allot time for parking problems, traffic, and any to other unforeseen circumstances. There is no excuse to be late to an interview because it shows a lack of foresight and consideration that you will likewise bring to the position.

7. Leave coffee in the car.

Don’t bring a beverage to the meeting (it’s too casual), don’t chew gum, don’t have your cell phone out or on, and make sure you aren’t wearing a lot of cologne or perfume.

8. Don’t forget to do you research.

Do your homework on the company you are interviewing for! That goes for the person you are interviewing with as well.

To be considered by Career Group send your resume to their website directly! You can apply to jobs on:,, or, and your resume will be routed directly to a recruiter.

Image via Monica Outcalt

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