Has anyone been watching “The job interview” on Channel 4? No… well if you are looking for a job, you should, it is a fantastic guide on what NOT to do in an interview! Ok, I’m being a little unfair as there have been a couple of people who came across very genuine and likeable, even if a little out of practice at interviewing. There are some though, that seriously just need to a) get some manners and b) use a bit of common sense!
We have blogged before with interview tips and do’s and don’ts, but for those that missed it, here are our top tips on what not to do if you want to land your dream job.
- Don’t be late – We shouldn’t really need to tell you this as everyone knows this is probably one of the worst things you can do; first impressions and all that. So do whatever it takes to arrive in plenty of time, even if that means being ridiculously early and going and grabbing a coffee somewhere to prepare. That leads me on to the next point…
- Not being prepared! There really is no excuse for this, the internet is a wonderful thing and there is literally nothing you can’t find on it, company size, organisation charts, company turnover and most importantly a companies ethos. Remember they will ask you questions based on it, so do your homework. And please, please, please, remember the name of who is interviewing you! Sound silly, well in one episode of the above mentioned programme the interviewer asked “what’s my name” to which the interviewee replied “err, ooh I’m sure I know it, I’m not very good and retaining information”… Really!!!
- Don’t underestimate the power of body language – after all it is telling the interviewer a story of its very own! I bet your mum told you to sit up straight and not swing on your chair, and she was right! You need to look interested and engaged not lazy and uninterested. Enter with a smile, a firm (but not aggressive) handshake and maintain steady eye contact, and watch for how they are reacting to you, as they are giving off signals too.
- Don’t tell porkies! Of course you want to showcase yourself, but remember to do this based on the skills you have and not those you don’t. For example, don’t tell them you are fluent in French when really you scraped a C in your GCSE, how embarrassing would it be when they strike up a conversation and all you can manage is Oui Oui mon petit fleur! The chances are if you land the job you will be asked to demonstrate these wonderful skills and if they aren’t quite as true as you have said, well you’re going to look a bit silly aren’t you?!?!
- Don’t go on and on and on and … oh you get the picture. Keep your answers short and relevant and know the point you are trying to make, if you just ramble on for the sake of saying something, the interviewer will quickly switch off and you will forget what you were answering in the first place. Preparation before the interview will help you have some answers ready prepared, allowing you to speak clearly with confidence.
- Don’t be rude… Like I tell my kids, pay attention when someone is talking to you! Checking your watch or your phone constantly is just not acceptable behaviour. And just think about the way you are talking and how it is coming across; don’t interrupt and be argumentative if you don’t agree with something just listen and formulate your response appropriately.
- Don’t insult or criticise your current employer. It really is not professional to talk about how rubbish your boss is, what they do wrong or why you hate them so just don’t do it. If they ask you why you are looking to move jobs, talk about the positives of the new position or career progression, not about how you can’t wait to get out where you are “cos it does your head in!”.
- Not asking any questions – Please, whatever you do, don’t make “what is the salary and holiday allowance” the first one! Interviews are as much for you to decide whether you want to work for that company, as it is for them to see if you are right for the role. So again be prepared and have some well thought out questions ready; some examples might be asking what they are looking for in the new hire, or how do you see the company growing and how will this role contribute to that? They show that you are genuinely interested in being part of and contributing to a growing business.
Lastly I would say, be yourself, if you get the job surely you want to know that was partly down to them liking you as a person as well as your skills, try and be a bit more confident in the interview and show some of your winning personality.
And a parting note, make sure you follow up. I’m not suggesting you start becoming their stalker but an email to thank them for their time, reiterate that you are the right candidate for the job and you’re happy to answer any further questions… Just don’t come across too desperate.
We hope the above tips are helpful, so good luck and go nail that interview!
Why not download below our FREE guide “21 commonly asked interview questions” and be as prepared as you possibly can.