Essential interview tips – what not to do
Got a job interview coming up? The Internet is awash with great tips on what to do to make an impression in your interview. But what about what not to do?
Here are five clinchers guaranteed to make your chances of employment far more difficult. Let’s (not) do this.
1. Freeze up
Even if you’re the nervous type, you need to remember that freezing up and retreating in to a tight little ball is just about the worse thing you can do during an interview. If you have difficulty making eye contact and your answers to questions become monosyllabic mumbles, how are the interviewers going to get a feel for your personality, your skills and experience? In addition, if you can’t make it through an interview without crumbling, people are likely to think that you won’t be able to handle the pressure of a normal job.
If you do find interviews daunting there are several strategies you can use to address this. Make sure you take deep breaths before and during the interview and take your time to answer questions. Careful preparation and rehearsing your answers to expected questions – out loud – beforehand is a good way to build your confidence for the real thing. Also use self-talk to boost your confidence with interviews. For example, tell yourself, “I can do this. I get nervous, so I need to practice beforehand, look at my interviewers and take deep breaths”. This will help a lot more than “I’m terrible in interviews”!
2. You got the honesty memo wrong
Yes, most of the time, honesty is the best policy. But there is honesty, and there is Too Much Information. It’s time to wise up. Gushing all over a potential employer with inappropriate information is not going to place you in the best light.
Don’t tell them that you were so nervous you vomited up your breakfast on your new shirt and had to change. Don’t tell them that you dreamt about this interview, and in the dream, the room caught on fire. Leave out the bit about your brother-in-law being arrested last weekend.
Too Much Information.
3. Be self-absorbed
What’s in it for me? At this stage, it’s not about that, it’s about what you have to offer them…This is a job interview, and your main priority should be demonstrating your skills and abilities and expressing your enthusiasm for the job. Prefacing your interview with direct questions about pay, holiday leave and how many people will be under you in the position are big mistakes. Instead, make it clear that you’re interested in the company and are keen to help them and fit in.
You do have a right to find out the finer details of your job benefits, but at your first interview, is not a good idea to ask too many of the “it’s all about me” questions. In the first round, just show your worth. Otherwise, you may never get the chance to ask those questions.
4. Say bad things about previous employers
Even if your last job was a horror, the boss was Attila the Hun, and your co-workers were evil, you should resist the temptation to share this with your interviewer. Apart from sounding ungracious and ungrateful, you never know who is connected in this world. The former boss that you are berating could well be the interviewer’s uncle – and won’t that go down a treat?
Saying negative things about your past work life in an interview will only give the impression that you’re both a complainer and indiscreet and neither of these qualities will put you on the ‘let’s hire’ list.
5. Forget the thank you!
Although simple enough, it’s frightening how many people forget to say thank you. When an interview is over, stand up, shake hands, look the interviewers in the eye and sincerely thank them for their time and the opportunity. Don’t gush; be sincere. It will be appreciated.
Now go forth and get that job!