We have heard someone saying this, “Smart people learn from their own mistakes, wise people learn from other’s mistakes”. The essence of this saying holds maximum relevance for jobseekers, which have to take extreme care to not err at any stage, lest they throw away the only chance to get selected for their dream job. They should learn from the mistakes of others to avoid committing them and jeopardize their chances.
Found a wonderful job opportunity that you cannot simply resist? There is no reason why should be not applying to it. However, make sure that you have done your preparation right. Preparation is used here as an all inclusive word for career advice, online research for the job, tips and tricks for answering tough interview questions and reaching out to network for more information. All this is absolutely necessary as a precursor to facing the interviewer in a personal round. But even after all this preparation there are still chances of you coming up empty-handed, if you commit silly blunders during the interview round. Therefore, if you want to make the most of this opportunity, try not to do the following:
1. Showing up late (or early)
Punctuality is one asset that no recruiter would like to give a miss in its future employees. While he or she has no way of knowing how punctual you have been throughout your career, if you reach late at the venue on the date of the interview, irrespective of the reason, it is a clear indication that you will have trouble in maintaining the time schedule of the office. Some think reaching early will put a great impression. On the contrary, it only suggests that you are desperate for this job and again, are less punctual.
2. Shabby appearance
For most of us a personal interview is the first chance to meet the interviewer. It does help to have a clean, well maintained physical appearance instead of an ill-groomed “i-don’t-care” look. Remember, this is not a party or a vacation that you are going to. This job could be an important milestone in your career and hence, treating it with seriousness that it deserves shouldn’t cause any harm. Clean and well ironed clothes are a must, not forgetting, well polished shoes.
You do not want the recruiter to believe that this job is a matter of life and death for you, because it might scare him off or even think of you as incompetent. Showing desperation for anything has always a negative psychological connotations associated with it. While being humble is one thing, talking like you can do anything to get that job is too much and also unethical. Your desperation, if any, should be kept to yourself, as it will also have a hugely negative effect during salary negotiations.
4. Bad Sitting posture
Neither sit too uptight nor sit in a slouching manner. Having the right sitting posture is a great way of creating an instant impact on the interviewer. Sitting posture is a major part of the body language and therefore should be given utmost attention. While in everyday life, some bad body language habits might cause no issue, in an interview they can become your nemesis. Hence it is critical for the success of your interview to learn good body language habits. Slouching back shows a lack of interest while learning too forward can also seem overly solicitous or even threatening. Sitting straight shows self-assured nature.
5. Forgetting Interviewer’s name
One of the biggest blunders that many of us commit is not being able to remember the interviewer’s name when it matters the most. This might seem a very small mistake but can also end up offending the recruiter.
6. Not Talking Much/Talking too Much
Not talking much refers to giving answers in monosyllables, irrespective of the type of questions asked. An interview is a chance to have a free flowing conversation with the interviewer and if you show any reluctance towards this conversation, the interviewer will surely go out of favor after sometime. This doesn’t mean that you have to keep talking on and on, without even caring if it’s relevant or not. You should treat each question on its merit and answer accordingly.
7. Interrupting interviewer
No one likes being interrupted. If you consistently cut off your interviewer midway his sentences, then sooner or later he is going to get irritated. In such a situation, however eligible you might be for the job, the results will not be desirable.
8. Telling lies
The biggest sin that one can commit in an interview is telling lies about your past work experience, achievements or anything that even remotely relates to the job you are applying for. If the recruiter finds the facts presented by you as incorrect, this might present a grave danger to your entire career. You will not only lose all credibility but also risk being blacklisted for any future job interview or internship.
9. Trying to work your way around a question
If you do not know answer of any particular question it is recommended to let the recruiter know that as it is. There is absolutely no shame in accepting your ignorance. In fact, the recruiter will appreciate your honesty. However, if you keep beating around the bush the interviewer will not take it very kindly.
10. Telling jokes
Do you really think you can get over the tough questions of the hiring manager by making him laugh at some of your jokes? While your intentions might be to keep the mood light, the end result will not be desirable. You will appear to the recruiter as an ill-advised and ill mannered person who is trying to be clever with him.
11. Taking calls
You surely can resist your smartphone for at least a couple of hours, considering those two hours might decide the course of your career. Candidates who excuse themselves for taking a call during the interview have no one but themselves to blame for not hearing back from the hiring manager.
12. Avoiding Eye Contact
You might be nervous and it is perfectly okay to be so. But that doesn’t give you the right to constantly look here and there while answering important questions being asked. In fact, if you continuously avoid eye contact with the recruiter it will be a telling sign of your low self confidence and lack of faith in your own abilities. If a person doesn’t have self belief how can you expect others to rely on him for an important job?
13. Bitching about your previous employer
You might have endless number of gripes with your previous boss or company. But the interview room is not a place for discussing all that. The more you speak wrong of your previous employer to the recruiting manager, the further you move away from securing that particular role. No one wants to hire a candidate who is ungrateful and speaks low of his previous employer.
14. Having no clue about the company
If you go for an interview without even knowing what the company’s main products or services are, what is its vision and other details, it reflects poorly on you. It shows a serious lack of intent and interest in the job you are applying to. Therefore, due diligence about the prospective employer is recommended before facing the hiring manger.
15. Sharing too much
Some candidates who have been in an important position in their previous company start divulging its confidential information so as to win the trust and goodwill of the new employer. The result is quite the opposite. They appear as desperate jobseekers who can stoop to any level to get the job. They paint themselves as unethical and immoral.
16. Speaking in a fake accent
While having good communication skills is important, it doesn’t mean you have to speak in a fake accent just for the sake of it. Fake accent is easily noticeable and is highly irritating also.
17. Not asking any question
When the recruiter asks you about any doubts or queries you might have for him, he really wants to hear from you. He is judging your preparedness for the role, your research about the company and your interest for that particular job. Therefore, not asking any question from the recruiter will be an unwise thing to do in an interview. For instance, if you are seeking a job opportunity as Principle Analyst, it would be highly impressive if you could come up with certain questions regarding the particular responsibilities and duties of an analyst in that company.
18. Telling your salary expectations without being asked
If the first question that you ask is about your salary and perks, it immediately paints you as an opportunist who works only and only for the paycheck. Salaries and perks are to be discussed later on with the HR when you get through your personal interview. Furthermore, do not commit the blunder of telling your salary expectations without being asked.
19. Any Inappropriate Behavior
Any unwanted behavior, however subtle it might be, is to be avoided during the interview. Whether it is as harmless as picking your nose, shaking your legs or as outrageous as winking at the interviewer, doing any such thing will surely be the end of the story for you, at least in that particular interview.
20. Not thanking the interviewer
Last but not the least; you should end by thanking the recruiter for giving you a chance to sit for the interview. After all, you were chosen ahead of many other equally deserving candidates and you ought to express your gratitude for the same.
Not committing these mistakes along with perfecting some tried and tested techniques is the only way to sail through
any interview without much trouble.
Saurabh Tyagi is a blogger and a professional career author with proven expertise in writing for topics related to jobs, job trends, different job opportunities, various workplace and industry information, tips and strategies for job seekers. You can follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.