5 things not to do in a job interview
There are lots of things which people will advise you to do in order to land your dream job, but we’ve put together a list of our top five things not to do in interviews.
1. Don’t fail to give an example
The interviewer asks you a question. You don’t know the answer. What do you say? Anything except, “I don’t know”. You need to be able to think on your feet, use your initiative and respond appropriately. This is especially true of experience based questions.
“Tell me about a time when…”. There should always be something, whether it’s your internship, your Saturday job, that stint in a cafe, your mountaineering hobby. You might surprise yourself with the amount of experiences you’ve actually had. Try writing some lists before your interview of things you might be asked about, such as: challenging situations, times you’ve dealt with conflict and when you’ve led a team.
2. Don’t be vague
If something is important enough to say in an interview, then it is worth saying with confidence. You need to believe in yourself and buy into what you are saying yourself, otherwise why should somebody else?
Be clear and concise and give tangible examples. Use numbers and figures where possible. It is a good idea to memorise some of these before your interview. For instance, instead of saying “I improved my team’s performance”, you can say, “I raised my team’s productivity from X to Y”.
3. Don’t over or under dress
Dressing appropriately for an interview and hitting the right tone with your outfit is the first chance you have of demonstrating that you will be a good fit for the company. We would suggest steering clear of denim to be on the safe side, but beyond that there is a big difference between what would be expected for a very corporate bank interview and if you’re going in for a chat with a laidback startup. Don’t be afraid to ask about the dress code beforehand.
4. Don’t turn up without doing your research
Scour the company’s website, Google their name and read up on articles about them. Learn any prizes they have won, key achievements for them, basic growth rates. Read everything you can. If you really want a job, you should be excited about working there, and you need to get that across.
Weave this information into the questions you ask at the end of your interview, as well as relating it to your potential role in the company. A good example could be, “I know you achieved X, Y and Z in 2015. What role will this new hire play in building upon that for 2016?”
5. Don’t be bland
When a company hires you, they are essentially committing to spending a large chunk of their time with you. They are allowing you to shape their company culture. This means that your personality and what you can bring to the team as an individual is just as important as your work experience and qualifications. Don’t be afraid to show some personality. Be interesting and engaging and it will be much easier for the interviewer to get a feel for you as a person and, in turn, imagine you as part of their team.