Speaking from personal experience, job interviews can be really enjoyable, but they can also go very badly wrong. They can leave you sweating profusely and worrying about every word you said for weeks afterwards. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Interviews can be an enjoyable experience for all involved and may even end happily ever after with a (gasp) job offer.
You know the obvious interview tips (researching the company, dressing appropriately, eye contact, etc.) but here are five mistakes you may not have considered:
Accepting a drink if you are too nervous to hold it properly
You may have been advised to accept a cup of tea at an interview, as it shows a level of confidence. That’s great, but if you get clumsy when you’re nervous you might want to think again. Particularly if that means you end up knocking a cup of tea into the interviewer’s lap. One member of AllAboutCareers.com’s team has actually done this, and it wasn’t pretty. On the flip side, many believe that sipping water during the interview can help steady any nerves.
Turning up too early
It goes without saying that you should always arrive on time (or five minutes early) for your job interview. But don’t arrive so early that you interrupt whatever your interviewer is doing before seeing you. It inconveniences the interviewer and shows bad time keeping. Consider getting a drink from the coffee shop opposite and biding your time. As Jessa from Girls said, “Ew I hate it when people are early, it’s so vile.”
Being ashamed of being nervous
Although it is important to seem confident about your abilities during an interview, being nervous is not an automatic detriment. If you act super confident when you’re not, you may seem fake or even arrogant. We don’t mean talk about your sweaty palms, but if you stumble over an answer because your nerves got in the way, don’t assume you will be penalised for it.
Not taking care of the little guy
When you arrive for the interview, you may have contact with a Receptionist or Doorman. It is seriously important that you are as polite and charming to these people as you are towards your interviewer. You never know how much influence this person has, and the interviewer may judge how you treat the Receptionist as a testament of your character.
Not being yourself
Many companies, particularly smaller businesses, view personality fit as extremely important. Most interviewers can sniff out whether you’re putting on a front, no matter how great an actor you think you are. It’s incredibly important to be yourself (well, perhaps a more professional version of yourself) so the interview can see whether you will fit into the organisation. No matter how much you want a job, you want to be with a company you’ll enjoy working for. If you put forward a false impression of yourself, you may end up in a company that you’d rather sell your Grandma than work for, and we really wouldn’t recommend doing that.
Believe us, job interviews really aren’t anything to worry about. If you do your preparation, there’s nothing to be nervous about. Remember, you’re interviewing them too.
Take a look at AllAboutCareers.com’s interview section for loads more advice and tips on acing that interview.