10 Blunders to Avoid in Interviews
Becoming a select job candidate rather than being in a massive pool of job applicants is half the battle won based on your resume and application. The other half, however, can snowball pretty quick if you’re not careful enough with how you carry yourself.
Here’s what you should AVOID at any cost in your interviews:
1. Fuzzy Resume Facts:
Your resume should not contain fudged facts and unverified statements. Failure to answer questions about such CV lines satisfactorily will anyway giveaway the con. Such unethical practices must strictly be avoided.
2. Appearing Uninterested:
Employers are almost always faced with a large mass of applicants, more than they really need. If you demonstrate no interest in their offerings, they will most certainly not allow it to go forward.
Know what drew your attention to the job and why you want it. Be curious, enthused and ask job-relevant questions (not stereotyped attention hoarders that can be answered over a few clicks and a Google search)
3. Being Under-prepared
Lack of preparation is easy to identify and once evident, it is a foolproof method of interview-suicide. The following are important to know when walking into an interview so that you are not caught off-guard.
- Know your answers to standard interview questions
- Research your employer and their businesses
- If possible know the interviewers
- Do not be late for your interview
4. Too Much Information
A ‘truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth’ mindset is not healthy for the interview and hence spilling your guts in not advisable. (I’m not encouraging lying, I’m discouraging boring the interviewer with unnecessary details) Brevity is the hallmark of communication and it must be kept so. You do not need to be superfluous or be over justifying. If more details are needed, you will be asked.
5. Negative Body Language
A limp handshake, avoidant eyes, fear all over your face, nervous tapping of your foot under the desk are all dead giveaways of shyness & lack of composure. (or even disinterest)
6. Not asking good questions / Asking the Wrong Questions at the wrong time:
In any interview asking no question to the interviewer(s) equals no interest. Equally detrimental to your success with the opportunity are wrong questions. Any question that hints at personal benefits (including those offered by the company) are not well received. Questions must be specific, direct, and role relevant. Questions about the organization that popped up in your head while researching them are good questions that display your curiosity.
7. Misplaced Emotion
You could have had a terrible day / a spat with your spouse / a bad commute to your campus / rejects from previous interviewers but it cannot be allowed to come in the way. Remember that the night is darkest before dawn and go on to fight another day. Drink water, inhale deeply and walk in with a confident stride.
8. Inappropriate Behaviour:
Truth be told – unless you’re interviewing for a comedian’s job, your job is not to entertain or be entertained. Smiles melt hearts but take the interview seriously. Also, as obvious as it may be, it is my responsibility to caution you against engaging in untoward behaviour which includes flirting. Opportunities knock few doors and if yours is one, don’t throw it away.
9. Bad Mouthing Past Employers
It is a small world and you can never know who would end up knowing who. If by sheer bad luck your interviewer happens to be connected to your ex-employer, you can bid goodbye to your dreams of landing that job. Maturity is one of the essential qualities of a prospective employee and conflicts are expected to be handled with due respect and professional decorum.
10. Forgetting that the interview is a Two-Way Street
An interview is not a platform for a sales pitch and you’re not there to sell yourself. In order to discover the job better, questions are key in steering the conversation in your favour. Should you arrive at a juncture wherein you do not have an answer, it is okay to acknowledge that you do not know the answer. (It is okay to make it a learning opportunity)
Interviews can swing either way and sometimes it is just not your day. Do not be discouraged in such situations and reassess yourself. Opportunities will knock but before they do, learn your lessons and be prepared to answer the door. May the best (wo)man win!
Voracious reading regimes coupled with a penchant for writing led me away from a glamorous yet mundane corporate career. When nobody's calling, the mountains always are - you'll invariably find me atop one.