OK., so you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to do before and during an interview, but do you know the sorts of things that you should definitely avoid? Often, inappropriate interview behaviours or responses can cost you the job even though you’ve done a good job in answering the questions. What follows are six things that you should definitely steer clear from at all interviews.
Here are the Six Interview Sins:
1: Avoid criticising your former employer and/or colleagues
Generally speaking interviewers do not like hearing interviewees criticise former bosses or colleagues. Given the interviewers only hear one side of the story they can never be entirely sure that it wasn’t your fault that the relationship did not work out. Furthermore, if you complain about others at an interview it’s likely that interviewers will think that you’re the sort of person who makes a habit of complaining.
2: Avoid wandering off the question
Don’t forget that interviewers generally do a lot of interviewing. The last thing they want to hear is details that have little to do with the questions they ask. What you may think is interesting detail they probably think is waffle. Make sure your answer addresses the question and not your own agenda.
3: Avoid extreme behaviours
In order to make a positive impression at an interview it is not uncommon for people to highlight certain behaviours that they think will win them points. For example, they may decide to demonstrate their confidence by acting in an overtly confident manner or they may wish to show how compliant they are by demonstrating a range of passive behaviours. More often than not all this does is make them come across as disingenuous applicants. The best advice is to relax and be yourself.
4: Avoid talking about money before you’ve established your worth
Talking about money first up gives the signal that all your interested in is the money. Employers like to think that first and foremost you’re most interested in the job itself. Also, you’re undermining your negotiating strength by asking for a certain amount of money before you’ve had the opportunity to impress them with your value add capabilities.
5: Avoid going in unprepared
We’ve all heard stories about people who walked into an interview without any preparation whatsoever and won the job. Do not be swayed by such stories. On the whole, people who prepare for interviews outperform people who do not. Preparation allows you to practise your answers, focus on the relevant matters, learn something about the company and arm yourself for the unexpected.
6: Avoid falling into the “This is the only job for me” trap
One of the most often mentioned horrors of interviews is the nervousness factor. Many people fail to perform to their best because they are too nervous. It’s hard enough answering questions properly without the added burden of getting your words mixed up due to nervousness. When we think that the job we’re going for is the “only job for me” we’re dramatically raising the stakes and thus our nervousness levels. It is important to think that there will be other great jobs coming along, who knows there may even be better ones just around the corner.
By Michael Spiropoulos