Congratulations! You've landed yourself a job interview- now on to the difficult part. Interviews can be a daunting, yet necessary, experience when on the job hunt. Sometimes, these interview mistakes can be avoided by following the correct steps and preparing correctly. To help you in your interview preparations, we've constructed a list of 5 things NOT to do at your next job interview.
Firstly, while you may think the interview will be all about you, often employers will ask for your opinion about company specific features. Therefore, if you don’t possess any knowledge regarding the organisation’s operations, these questions may prove difficult to answer.
Start off by making sure you carry out some research before the interview. Gather a good, general understanding of the organisation, their workplace culture and main business operations. Not only does this allow you to answer questions, gathering this augmented knowledge will demonstrate a proactive attitude.
Secondly, you should be preparing answers about yourself. Adequate interview preparation will reduce your nerves and increase the quality of your answers. For example, one technique you can implement is the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Response) answer structure. Preparing and structuring your answers will allow you to give detailed examples of experiences you’ve had, meaning your answers will be more relevant and impactful. This tip would be especially relevant for Telephone Interviews, allowing you to deliver a clear and concise answer.
Display Negative Body Language
Nonverbal communication can speak just as loudly to the interviewer as the words exiting your mouth. Academic research has shown that your body language can either verify your verbal claims or contradict what is being said entirely. For example, if you’re applying for a job that requires large amounts of confidence, and present your answers whilst looking at the floor with slouched shoulders slouched, it's hardly going to send the right signal of intent.
To avoid this, try to be confident and purposeful in your posture by sitting upright. Another tip is to engage the interviewer, maintaining good eye contact and occasionally using your arms and hands to place emphasis on certain points.
Research has shown that candidates who are severely anxious during an interview tend to receive lower ratings in terms of interview performance. Of course, interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience and, sometimes, a little nervousness can be a positive. However, letting these nerves grip a hold of you entirely is never a good thing.
It's worth remembering that, in order to get to the interview stage, you’ve demonstrated something that the employers are impressed by. Whether this be your application strength or quality of your CV, the employer has proactively contacted you for a further chat. What does this mean? It means you should believe in yourself. Have confidence in your ability and you will give yourself the best chance of landing that position.
Speak Negatively About Your Previous Employer
This is another big ‘No’ when it comes to being interviewed. Positivity goes a long way in influencing the interviewer’s perception of you. If you are constantly berating your previous employer, the interviewer may begin to doubt your personality on two levels. Firstly, the employer may think you're blaming other people for your own shortcomings. Furthermore, the employer may worry that you replicate this negativity, this time about their own company, in future interviews.
So, if asked why you’re changing jobs, be sure to put a positive spin on it- without straight up lying of course. Focus more on what you gained from your previous position and how this contributed to your need for change.
Turn Up Late
This point is simple, yet its importance cannot be understated. If the first impression you give to an employer is that you can’t be trusted to show up on time, it’s not a good look. Make sure you plan your journey in advance, making notes of travel times, transport methods and allowing time for any possible delays. After all, you could always go grab a coffee if you’re early.
There are no promises when it comes to job interviews. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. However, if you avoid some of the above- you will be sure to give yourself the best possible chance of success.