What Not to Do at an Interview

We’ve all had that feeling. We have spent hours writing and rewriting our application for our dream job and have waited with baited breath to see if all our efforts have been worth it. Then it happens, you have been invited for the interview. For many companies and jobhunters alike, the interview is sometimes the one time to really shine. With an average of 15-20 people going for one position, getting it right is absolutely paramount. Here are some tips that I have found useful.

First and foremost, never be late. If you are unavoidably delayed, phone as soon as you possibly can and calmly explain what has happened. If you are lucky, they may still allow you to come and take the interview.

Although honesty is the best policy, telling them that you only applied for the job because you have a crush on a member staff is not the best way to make a good impression. So be professional at all times.

Selling yourself short is not an option. They have picked you out because they potentially want to give you the job. Undermining your achievements will not only make you look silly but smacks a little of insincerity. I told an interviewer once that my greatest achievement was passing my driving test as it had taken 9 attempts! They took it as a sign of my determination to succeed as well as seeing the ability to laugh at myself.

There is no excuse for going to an interview unprepared. Do some research on the role and on the company so that when any awkward questions arise, then you are able to handle them with a minimum of fuss.

Don’t go there with a negative, defeatist and unenthusiastic attitude, no matter how much you tried to hide it, interviewers will pick up on it straightaway, leaving you at a distinct advantage before you have even started.

Make sure you are distraction free – there is nothing more embarrassing for you and more irritating for the interviewer than a mobile going off in the middle of an interview.

Do not go in there dressed inappropriately. In some creative industries, casualwear might be the norm, but that is no excuse for you to go dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. When you do get the job, then you can adopt the company’s dress code. Till then, smart business wear is the order of the day.

Never ever be rude and try to take into account cultural differences where and if necessary.

It is just a question of having a little common sense in these situations. It is very hard knowing that you are one of many people vying for the one position, but do not get disheartened. Going in there and doing your very best can only stand you in very good stead.


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