Today is the day! You have an interview with the hospital you’ve always wanted to work at. You’ve picked the perfect outfit and you are having a great hair day. An in person interview is your first and only impression to sell yourself to a potential employer.

Here are five ways to screw that up:

1. Being late to the interview 
I do not care what your excuse is, being late to an interview is a bad idea. Have you heard of Google Maps? Everyone knows traffic sucks, so why did you not make a dry run the day before to get a sense of how long it would take you? (I once had an applicant tell me that she refuses to use GPS because it messes with her senses. Huh?) Time is valuable and the other candidate that arrived on time got the job. Be prepared and ALWAYS arrive 10-15 minutes early next time.

2. Smoking or Drinking before the interview 
Do I really need to address this topic? (Apparently I do because I have lost count of the times I have almost fallen over from the smell of stale cigarettes and booze! Especially in an enclosed space such as an exam room.) I do not care how nervous you are but do not, I repeat, do not smoke a cigarette or drink a shot of whiskey right before you walk in to an interview. If I wanted to smell the stench of cigarettes or babysit a drunk, I would have invited you to an  interview at a Vegas casino. I hope that I do not have to explain why you did not receive an invitation for a working interview after this fiasco.

3. Having your cell phone on during the interview interview
There is nothing worse while conducting an interview than to have Ginuwine’s Pony start playing during an important discussion about why you would make a great addition to the team. Wait a minute! There is something worse. Answering it!!! What the?!? (I seriously had an applicant answer her phone in the middle of an interview to fight with her boyfriend over how much longer the interview was going to be. Yea, I left the room) Please be an adult and turn your phone on silent. Better yet, put it away. I am sure you can go one hour without being near your phone. I dare you!

4. Cursing during the interview 
You can be a drunken sailor all you want the other 23 hours of the day, but the one hour interview is not the place to enlighten me with your vast vocabulary of curse words. Trust me, the F bomb leaves my mouth on a daily basis, but I know when it is appropriate. The in person interview is not appropriate in case you thought otherwise.

5. Bringing pets or children to the interview 
I can promise you that this happens more than you think. There was not one person in the universe that could care for your child for one hour? Did you really think that the doctor would check out Fluffy’s woo hah while you were interviewing? For the love of professionalism people. Get it together! I understand that things happen at the last minute but please let your potential employer know beforehand that you have to bring your child or reschedule. We are human too and will understand.. As far as Fluffy goes, please leave her woo hah at home.

A job interview is the one chance you will have to make a lasting impression with the hospital of your dreams. Don’t blow it by not using the common sense that I know is in you. Be professional, respectful, and prepared. One mistake is all it takes to find you in a bar smoking, drinking and cursing wondering where it all went wrong.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial team.

ToshazimmermanABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tosha is a CVT since 2002 and has worked in emergency, internal medicine and neurology. She has a passion for mentoring technicians to create a more positive work environment. When Tosha is not interviewing veterinary hospital staff across the country, you may find her dancing at a country music concert or relaxing at home in her hammock with Prissy, Jagger and Dirty.