OK, we’re back for the third part of this series detailing how simple mistakes that applicants don’t consider a “big deal” can make employers write you off immediately when they review your application, cover letter, or resume or meet you in person. Part I identified common writing mistakes. Part II identified common reading mistakes.

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Today, Part III will discuss a mistake that you probably never thought about. You may have the perfect answer to questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and “Tell me about a time when you overcame resistance of co-workers.” But, if you mess this up, you’re screwed (excuse the harsh term).

What is this mistake?

Messing up the interviewer’s name.

Some people have real pet peeves about having their names messed up. I am one of them.

Yes, I have a last name that is a first name for some people. But, unless you are from a country where the “family name” (called a “last name” in the USA) is written before the “given name” (called a “first name” in the USA), I really don’t think that there is an excuse for not knowing to call me “Charles” or “Mr. Dominick.”

When people call me “Dominick,” I find it really annoying. And when interviewees call me “Dominick,” I worry whether or not they have the intelligence necessary for whatever position they are interviewing for if they can’t even figure out which name is my first name and which is my last.

But I’m not the only one that feels this way, believe me. There’s a great post on collegiateperformancemagazine.com that talks about “The Value of a Name.”

So, when preparing for your next interview, do be prepared for all of the challenging questions. But also take a minute to learn the name of the person you’ll be speaking with. Failing to do so is just another little thing that can stand in your way of getting that next job.

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