Got a big job interview coming up?
Preparing for interviews is all about acting natural, getting on with strangers, and pretending to know about things you know nothing about. Basically, they're impossible to get right, but there are at least ways to avoid having a car-crash interview.
Careers website Glassdoor has come up with seven things you definitely should not do if you're going for a job interview. Pay attention, future execs:
Criticise your old company
There will be reasons why you're leaving, but if you come across as a hostile employee, your interviewer won't look kindly on you.
Rock up way too soon
Try not to look like you have nothing else on. Glassdoor advises turning up five minutes early; long enough to get to the right room in the building, but not so long that the company has to find a way to entertain you.
Fail to ask questions
If there's one thing that you will definitely be asked, it's whether you have any questions about the job. If you don't have any, you'll seem like you're not interested, and employers will wonder why you're so poorly prepared.
Mega-brag when you're asked about your weaknesses
"Sharing a genuine area of improvement displays maturity and a sense of self-awareness," Glassdoor says. "If you say ‘perfectionism’ is your weakness, don’t be surprised if you see an eye roll."
Instead, try to think of things you would genuinely like to improve, and say how the role you're applying for will help you achieve those goals.
I mean, why would you do this? Never do this.
Ask awkward questions
Glassdoor says you shouldn't ask about salary, vacations, etc. until you have a job offer.
However, employers do sometimes ask what your salary expectations are. So be prepared, just don't go in looking like you're only interested in the perks.
Playing with a cup, pencil or your hair is going to show your nerves. It's a natural instinct to fidget, but try to relax and focus on the people in front of you.
City A.M. also recommends:
Don't treat every job interview the same
Reading advice on the internet is fine, but be flexible in your attitudes. Ultimately, it's about getting on with someone you don't know. Some employers will be chatty, others will find over-confident interviewees irritating. So have some emotional intelligence: judge the room, and respond accordingly.
Drink too much coffee and you'll be tapping your feet, talking frantically, or desperately needing the toilet. Avoid coffee for at least an hour before.
There are several problems with ranting. There's no way you're as interesting as you think you are, unstructured speech will make you look unprofessional, and there's a risk your employer has a very different view. Opinions are fine, but coming on too strong may put people off. An interview is your chance to show you'll fit in at the company.
Have something planned for afterwards
Leave your diary fairly free for immediately after the interview; the candidate should never cut the interview short. However, fretting over it when you leave the building is unproductive. See a friend or get some work done as a distraction.