So, you’ve completed your studies and have been invited for that all-important job interview – this could potentially change your life! Think better opportunities, more money and scope for growth, plus you’ll meet a whole bunch of new people that could help your career. Here are some common interview blunders and things you should never do in an interview:
1) Show up unprepared
You might have the skills to do the job, but you also need to do your research before the interview. Visit the company’s website, see if there’s anything in the news about the company, check the “About Us” tab on the website, and read up on their mission statement. Also remember to find out who the competition is. A well-prepared candidate will stand out from the crowd!
2) Arrive late
Make sure that you allow enough time to get to the company – think about things that might make you late, like a possible train, taxi, or bus delay. If you cannot avoid being late, make sure you call the company and speak to the person who will be interviewing you.
3) Dress inappropriately
So you’ve done some research, read up about the company, and feel ready for your interview. What’s next? You need to make sure you dress appropriately. The first impression you make on a potential employer can make a big difference and will be based on how you look and what you’re wearing. That’s why it’s always important to dress appropriately for a job interview. Even if the company has a relaxed work environment, don’t dress down. Yes, that means no jeans, t-shirts, short skirts, or torn stockings. Remember, it’s all about first impressions!
Also read: How to Dress for Success on a Small Budget
4) Badmouth your employer – or anyone for that matter!
If you had a bad “break-up” with your last company, don’t dwell on it. Mention the positive experience that you gained from the job and highlight any achievements. If you didn’t like a former manager, simply say that you didn’t see eye to eye. Remember, badmouthing will reflect badly on you – and might cost you the job!
In an interview, there’s no room for lying – especially when it comes to your qualifications and your work experience. If you have gaps in employment, be prepared to talk about it and explain what you did during this time. Also, if you don’t know an answer to a question, simply say that – you don’t have to make anything up. Relax, think about your answers, and answer clearly.
6) Use or check your phone during the interview
Before you get to your interview, put your phone on silent. Texting during your interview is not only rude, but it’s a pretty clear message to your potential employer that getting the job is not your top priority. For the same reasons, don’t make or answer calls during the interview.
7) Forget about your soft skills
It’s all good and well to enter the interview with a list of your qualifications and experience, but employers will also ask about the soft skills that will complement your technical abilities. Make sure that you’re prepared to answer questions about the personal character traits and interpersonal skills that will make you stand out from other candidates.
Find out about the importance of soft skills and the ones employers are looking for here.
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Note: This article was originally published on 11 August 2014, and has been updated for comprehensiveness.