Written by Dave Cullen
To some people, the modern job interview can be an intimidating and stressful undertaking; it is a convention of today’s candidate screening process that can be an unforgiving one. Answering questions about your career and past experiences while also selling yourself in a calm and professional manner in a 20 – 30 minute period is a challenge.
However, as we have discussed in many of our previous blogs, there are plenty of paths to interview success. Conversely, there are plenty of ways you can negatively affect your prospects.
The following is a list of four ways to avoid a bad job interview:
Preparation: This is essential to interview success, from planning your answers to the most frequently asked questions, conducting research into the company you are applying for and carefully perfecting your interview technique.
Although an employer fully expects Interviewees to be somewhat nervous during an interview; these nerves should not be debilitating to such an extent that they cause them to forget everything they had prepared to say. This can be prevented through meticulous practice. Have a friend or family member act as the interviewer in a mock interview situation. Think of these sessions as dress rehearsals, they will allow you to practice and perfect your responses, body language and mannerisms.
Knowing your CV: “Talk me through your CV” – this is a common interview question and it’s one you must be prepared for. If you’re going blank recalling the salient points on your CV or explaining any employment gaps, you’re headed for trouble. As part of your pre-interview preparation, ensure that you have committed your employment history to memory. You must be ready for the interviewer to probe you on any aspect of your CV. Make sure you can recall key duties and responsibilities from your previous employment and also memorise several examples of challenges you faced and explain how you overcame them.
Put your phone on silent: You may think that this is a fairly obvious suggestion but considering the nerves and anxiety many jobseekers associate with interviews, it can be easy to forget to do this. Having your phone vibrate, ring or chirp with an inbound text during an interview may be a simple mistake to make but it will almost certainly have a negative impact on your chances. It’s careless and will be considered rude and unprofessional. Once you have agreed upon the time of the interview, set a reminder on your phone to sound 5 minutes before the meeting alerting you to deactivate your phone or switch it to flight mode.
Asking appropriate questions: A job interview is a two-way conversation; following completion of the interview the employer may ask if you have any questions for them. It’s important to consider what your needs are from the employer, however asking the wrong questions such as salary expectations will certainly not ingratiate yourself to them. Likewise, asking about annual leave days suggests to the interviewer that you are already planning on taking time off work. Furthermore, failing to prepare questions sends out the wrong signal to the employer. They may think that you lack interest in the company or an insightful nature. Try to steer clear of asking questions that can be easily answered on the company’s website. For examples of the kinds of questions you should ask in a job interview check out the following article: 5 Questions to ask in a job interview.