What ‘not’ to do at an interview.
A survey was conducted where 33% of 2000 bosses claimed they knew within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they would hire someone.
Recruitment Software helps HR in recruiting and onboarding new employees, but what exactly happens in the interview process?
Now, whether this is your first job interview or one hundredth, the little tips and tricks on how to ace your interview always come in handy. Certain mistakes can lower your chance of receiving a job offer, and no one needs to sit around and wonder why they haven’t received any callbacks.
According to statistics gathered by Glassdoor for Employers, every corporate job opening, on average, attracts 250 resumes. But only four to six of these people will be called for an interview, and only one of those will be offered a job. Seems a bit daunting, but there are ways to ace your interview. Below is a list of what ‘not to do’ at an interview.
1. Don’t be late.
It seems like an obvious point, but unless you have a valid reason and ring in advance, then it’s never a good sign when you arrive at an interview late. It shows poor time management and a lack of care for the meeting.
Don’t expect to receive a warm welcome if you enter late to the interview; unfortunately, you’re off to a bad start. Even arriving too early can be seen as an unfortunate mistake and raise questions of whether you can listen to direction.
Do a test run if you don’t know the area very well and calculate your travel time. Be over prepared, so to say.
2. Don’t be dressed inappropriately.
It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed – at a limit. You don’t want to walk in looking like a mess; it seems like you don’t care or have respect for the company and whom you are meeting.
Wearing anything too tight or too loose can be a bad sign according to 49% of hiring managers, instead, aim for professional attire. Prepare your outfit in advance and try it on so you can see what will work best for you. And please don’t wear tracksuits or tights, this isn’t a casual lunch with friends; this could be your future.
Now gents make sure you have an excellent shave or at least a trim, don’t come in with strong cologne and brush your teeth. Ladies, along with the same lines in regards to hygiene but keep your makeup minimum and don’t go crazy with the accessories and current fashion trends. Sure it shows you care and value your appearance, but it can be distracting and show lack of maturity.
3. Don’t avoid eye contact.
By avoiding eye contact, it can show your absence of confidence as well as lack of respect. Sixty-seven per cent of bosses said that failure to make eye contact is a common nonverbal mistake.
Don’t stare too hard, and do make sure you blink. Just because good eye contact is considered essential, doesn’t mean you need to suffocate them with your gaze. You can look away when you need to, but don’t stare down on the floor or fidget with your hands and clothes. Thirty-three per cent of hiring managers see that as another common nonverbal mistake.
4. Don’t mess up the handshake.
Always put your hand out first when you meet the hiring manager/recruiter. Initiate it and smile as you do so. By giving the handshake first, it shows confidence and professional decor.
Don’t grip their hand too tight; you don’t want to seem overconfident or break someone’s hand. According to a study, 22% of hiring managers considered a handshake received too lightly to be another mistake, as it shows a lack of confidence and can make the interviewer uncomfortable. Try somewhere in the middle.
5. Don’t lie.
Everyone has most likely told little white lies and exaggerated in interviews, but there comes a limit. Being caught out in a lie is the worst situation when it comes to interviews, and sets the wrong tone for the remainder of the conversation.
Whatever you put in your CV make sure it’s true. You don’t want to have an interview and then get asked a question you can’t respond because you know you don’t have the answer. Be honest and truthful.
When asked about difficult situations you had to come across in the workplace, don’t lie and hide – next thing you know the situation arises in your new job and they expect you to know how to handle yourself; you are now faced with a very awkward situation. When candidates lie in interviews and get caught in the act, it’s all hiring managers need in not considering the applicant for the role; in fact, 66% of hiring managers feel this way.
6. Don’t appear arrogant and overconfident.
It’s okay to be confident in your abilities and skills, talk about your accomplishments and why you are the right candidate for the job, but don’t overdo it. You’re not Kanye West, who quite frankly believes he’s a genius. You’re you, and that’s good enough.
Don’t walk in as if everyone is below you or as if you have more experience and knowledge and can easily land this job. No one likes a show-off.
Acting as if you know more than anyone in the room, especially if you have a panel of interviewers, sets the wrong tone and tells everyone that you will struggle to work in a team or take any negative criticism or feedback.
7. Don’t come unprepared.
Do your research. The worst thing is for the interviewer to ask the candidate what they like about the company, or what do they know about the company and the candidate’s response is: “I don’t know I just saw a job opening”. Do not do this.
Recruiters need to know you’re interested in the right reason and not just applying for the sake of it. You need to find out as much as you can and be prepared with questions and possible answers. Preparation shows time management, development, excellent research and professionalism.
8. Don’t complain about past employers.
If you get asked ‘why do you want to leave your job?’ or ‘what are you not receiving there that you wish to gain here?’ Please don’t respond with “I hate my boss”, or “I just really don’t like people”. Don’t bad mouth employees or tell the interviewer any uncomfortable or awkward encounters you possibly may have had in the past.
Be professional and hold in any grudges you may have with your current employer. Complaining about employers can cause worry for the hiring manager, in regards to whether or not you can handle working with different people.
With every job you come across, there will always be one person you may not get along with or struggle to work alongside; it’s a given, and we can’t escape it, so prepare yourself.
9. Don’t cut off the interviewer.
A big mistake in the interview process is cutting off the interviewer and not letting them finish or even speak. Yes, you’re excited or have all your information and questions ready, so you’re bursting to say it all out at once.
Be patient and wait for the right time to ask questions or express your knowledge and understanding. If they’re speaking and you wish to ask them a question, wait for them to finish or speak when there’s a sudden pause.
If you notice the interviewer having to stop and start or even ask for you to wait until they finish, be aware. I once cut off a hiring manager and let my nerves take the best out of me; I still got the job, but don’t base this on my experience. Just remain calm and wait.
10. Don’t answer your phone or text.
I’m sure you’ve experienced those moments when you’re having dinner with a friend, and they start texting on their phone or answer a call while you’re trying to engage with them. Society these days right? When it comes to job interviews, this is a definite no-no.
Put your phone on silent or better yet turn it off entirely. Never answer a call or quickly send a text message; recruiters are not stupid and can see what you’re doing.
If you ever do this, it shows you don’t care or have respect, and tells the interviewer that you may not have your priorities straight. In a much simpler explanation: Put the phone down kids.
11. Don’t blame others for your mistakes.
When the hiring manager asks you what has been your biggest failure or mistake, don’t go blaming others in your current workplace.
If you do give detail into your mistakes and failures, own up to it and say that it was your responsibility and even though certain factors may have been in play; it did happen. Showing integrity is better than hiding behind others.
Be upfront, honest and take responsibility. No one likes a candidate who can’t take accountability.
12. Don’t daydream.
You may have entered the room with a smile and show perfect body language, your experience is top notch, and you answer all the questions. But the moment you don’t listen or start to daydream is when things may not end as well.
For example, you notice the interviewer waiting for you to respond, only you can’t even remember what they said let alone asked. Panic sets in. Oh no, what do I say? Best comeback to this situation: “Sorry, could you repeat the question?”. It may show the interviewer you have poor listening skills, but at least you don’t go pretending you heard what they said.
13. Don’t forget to thank them after the interview.
The interview is coming to a close, you ask your final questions and make sure you follow up on who to contact and what step is next. Once all of that is answered, and you both know the interview has been completed, always thank them.
Always leave with a smile and thank the recruiter for taking the time to meet with you and how grateful you are to have been given the opportunity to speak with them.
Remind the interviewer how much you are interested in the role and how you believe you will be the perfect choice for the position. Sell yourself, but don’t go over the top. Give a final handshake and say how you look forward to hearing from them.
You also need to understand that even though you feel like you aced the interview and you walk out with a bounce in your step, be prepared for anything. Don’t feel down if you don’t land the position, there’s a reason for everything and your time will come. Situations arise where candidates accept a job to realise then it isn’t the right fit for them. Your perfect fit will arrive, you just never know when.
While you’re waiting for the final verdict try your best to remain cool and calm about it. Don’t sit around jumping every time your phone rings. You’ve done your work; now the rest is up to them. Let’s hope you get it.