Getting the job interview is the easy part, as preparing for one can be nerve wracking for most. Here are 11 things you need to avoid to ace your job interview.
As a popular saying goes, it may not be what you said that cost you your job interview. Not doing adequate research on your prospective employer is a fundamental error most interviewees make. Being aware of the company’s product portfolio and the services it provides, makes sense. Getting to know your interview panel before D day helps as well. Social websites such as LinkedIn are public for a reason and most interviewers these days expect interviewees to look up their profiles before an interview.
Being prepared for the unexpected is one thing, but not being prepared for what is expected has no excuse at interviews. Questions such as where you see yourselves in the next five years at the firm or about your vision to take the company forward are posed by interviewers to know what you think about your career and to judge how you see yourself advancing within the company. Establishing your motivational goals and sharing them with your interviewers needs to be part of the plan.
Sartorial sensibility is among the few parameters that enable employers to establish first impressions about job seekers. An interview intimation usually provides some information on the company dress code; however, business casual would be a safe bet, as a formal shirt and pair of trousers can never go wrong.
Traffic, tyre blowouts, sending kids to school, the list of excuses for arriving late at interviews is a long and virtually endless one. Arriving late for interviews is half the battle lost so it makes sense to plan your day in advance, anticipate those roadblocks and arrive early at the venue. Being punctual always makes a credible first impression on prospective employers.
For an employer, your CV is a window into your world. It makes sense therefore that you are aware of its contents. Looking indecisive when being quizzed about the same at an interview will not work in your favour.
It’s good to have a viewpoint but it’s equally important to know where to draw the line when you are making that point at an interview. Be insightful in your comments but keep your answers crisp and to the point.
It pays to stay positive at all times during an interview. Passing negative comments about your past employers or about your current job may reflect poorly on your profile with your prospective employer. However, if you feel cornered into sharing your feedback about why you wish to move on from your current job, be honest, but also be strategic. So, instead of delving on the negatives, talk about the new role you seek in your future job profile and how this could enable you and your new employer to grow.
Always go into an interview with the mindset that the panel has sat through hundreds of similar sessions. While the interviewer is expected to ask those clichéd questions such as enquiring about your strengths and your future outlook, this does not necessarily merit clichéd responses. Bits about being a team player or that your fundamental weakness is that you work too hard, is old school. Try to be original maybe clichéd advice, but it helps to provide responses that will differentiate you from the rest. The possibility is high that your interviewer will remember you for all the right reasons.
The interview is not a unilateral transfer where the interviewer asks all the questions. As the interviewee, you should clear any doubts you may have about your role within the organization, the opportunity for growth within the firm etc. Check our article on 7 smart questions you can ask during an interview.
Trying to find out what salary your job profile commands during that first crucial interview is a big mistake. The picture this essentially paints in your employer’s mind is that money for you is the big motivator and not job satisfaction. Keep the interview positive and try and convince the panel that all that interests you is the job. If your employer is satisfied with your responses, the money is sure to follow.
If you’re at a stage of negotiating your salary, read our guide.
You have to connect to get the job and the easiest way to do this is by making eye contact with your interviewers. A lack of eye contact could signal prospective employers that you may be uncomfortable or are not confident enough, or in some cases, even lying. Establishing eye contact is a simple gesture that implies that you are attentive and listening. There is the possibility that your interviewer may not be good at making eye contact but at the end of the day it’s good when you are in control of your own game.
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