January 31, 2018
Some people are just naturally great during interviews. They breeze through them every time. Others get jitters in their stomachs from two days before, sweat through their clothes because of nerves and go blank for a second when asked a question. Most of us fall in the second category, until we get adequate practice in giving interviews. There’s no shame in that! All it means is that we need a little extra help, that’s all. So let’s start with this – a few interview mistakes we all should definitely avoid making.
Mistake 1: Being unprepared
There are some questions you’ll undoubtedly be asked. And when they ask you about their company, how you got to know about them or what you think of their work, you can’t just wing it. Research is essential before an interview – even if you have an amazing personality and skills, yes. And with most companies and professionals having an online presence on LinkedIn and company websites, it’s not so difficult anymore. You don’t have to depend on word of mouth – you can find out from the company first-hand. So take some time out, make a few pointers on your phone that you can go over them before the interview and you’ll sail through.
Mistake 2: Dressing inappropriately
With startup culture taking over, many assume this isn’t important anymore. And while we wish we weren’t judged by our clothes, they have a lot to do with what your first impression on your interviewers will be. It’s not all about dressing formally or covering up from head to toe. You should feel comfortable in what you wear, of course – which is why you should avoid any clothing items that can either get stuck in odd places or ones that are likely to make you trip. Wearing heels might add an impressive inch or two to your height, but if they make you feel like you can’t keep up with your interviewers as they show you around the office, skip them. Same goes for any accessories that are too noisy or too blinding.
Mistake 3: Being too quiet
Mistake 4: Attending personal calls
Have you ever forgotten to put your phone on silent? Or put your phone on the desk in front of you and have it start violently vibrating? Mistakes like these can happen – but you’ve got to learn from them. The best place for your phone to be during your interview is in your handbag, on silent (seriously silent, not just vibrate silent). Answering personal calls during your interview is the worst possible thing you can do. Try arranging for another family member to be on call in case of a problem at home, let your current office know that you’ll be unavailable for a short while and basically, think of all this beforehand and plan for it accordingly.
Mistake 5: Talking poorly about past employers
They’re probably going to ask why you’re looking to leave your current job (or why you left one in the past). And no matter how much you hate it there or your boss, this isn’t the time or place to vent. No, it doesn’t even matter if it’s a competitor company – if you can talk badly about one employer, you can talk poorly about the new ones in the future too. If you’ve had a impossible time at your previous job and you want to convey that, stick to facts. Talk about the negatives in terms of workload, pressure, or management – not just people.