With the job market extremely tight, even the small stuff counts, especially when you’re on a job interview. That’s why it’s so important not to say or do the wrong things, since that first impression could end up being the last one.
With that in mind, here are seven deadly sins of job interviewing.
- Don’t be late.
Even if your car broke down or the train derailed, do everything you can to get to that job interview on time. Why not consider travelling the day before? You do when you MUST catch that flight to your holiday destination, if the job is important to you then make sure you’re there.
On the flip side, you don’t want to arrive too early and risk appearing desperate, but you do want to be there at least five minutes early or at the very least on time.
- Don’t be unprepared.
It seems simple, but countless people go on job interviews knowing very little about the company they are interviewing with when all it would take is a simple Google search to find out. As a result, they end up asking obvious questions, which signal to the interviewer that they are too lazy to prepare. Do some research on the interviewer too, you cannot be over prepared. “Google” yourself and prepare for surprises. If you learn interesting things about the interviewer, perhaps you both like dogs, then drop it in at the small talk stage. This would be a clear signal you are prepared and informed.
“Sharpen your pencil before you go to school.”
- Don’t ask about salary, benefits, perks etc.
Your initial interview with a company shouldn’t be about what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company. Which means the interview isn’t the time to ask about the severance package, number of weeks holiday or health plan. Instead you should be selling yourself as to why the company will benefit by employing you.
- Don’t focus on future roles instead of the job at hand.
The job interview is not the time or place to ask about advancement opportunities or how to become the MD. You need to be interested in the job you are actually interviewing for and not exaggerating your career aspirations. A company wants to see that you are ambitious, but they also want assurances you are committed to the job you’re being interviewed for.
- Don’t turn the weakness question into a positive.
To put it bluntly, interviewers are not idiots. So when they ask you about a weakness and you say you work too hard or you are too much of a perfectionist, chances are they are more apt to roll their eyes than be blown away. Instead, be honest and come up with a weakness that can be improved on and won’t ruin your chances of getting a job.
For instance, if you are interviewing for a project management position, it wouldn’t be wise to say you have poor organizational skills, but it’s ok to say you want to learn more shortcuts in Excel. Talk about the skills you don’t have that will add value, but aren’t required for the job.
- Don’t Lie
Many people think its ok to exaggerate their experience or fib about a firing on a job interview, but lying can be a sure-fire way not to get hired. Even if you get through the interview process with your half-truths, chances are you won’t be equipped to handle the job you were hired to do. Not to mention the more you lie the more likely you are to slip up.
Don’t exaggerate, don’t make things bigger than they are and don’t claim credit for accomplishments you didn’t do.
- Don’t ask if there’s any reason you shouldn’t be hired
Well-meaning career experts will tell you to close your interview by asking if there is any reason you wouldn’t be hired. While that question can give you an idea of where you stand and afford you the opportunity to address any concerns, there’s no guarantee the interviewer is going to be truthful with you or has even processed your information enough to even think about that. All you are doing is prompting them to think about what’s wrong with you.
Another big “no no” is asking “when do I start”.
Be yourself and good luck at the interview!