Job interviews are pretty easy, right? You just turn up, wow the interviewer with your charm, and land the job. What could be easier?
After all, they read your application and liked you enough to meet you in person. The job is pretty much yours.
The truth is, we all know how hard it can be to impress at interview stage. Especially when there’s so much competition for each job. Why then, are we still blowing our job interviews in such spectacular fashion?
5 Ways to Sink Your Interview Fast
Everyone handles the pressure of an interview differently. Some talk nonstop and don’t let the interviewer get a word in edgeways. Others clam up and can only squeak ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. But nerves are to be expected.
There are some parts of interview etiquette though, that need to be avoided at all costs. Here are the five quickest and easiest ways to blow your job interview:
1. Turn Up Late
Life happens. People get stuck in traffic, trains are delayed, and accidents can occur at anytime. Interviewers will understand that, but only if you have the common sense to phone ahead. Taking the initiative to call and tell them you’ll be late shows you’re professional and serious about the job.
Turning up 20 minutes late because you missed your alarm, or spotted some shoes in the sale are not acceptable excuses.
Not only does this look unprofessional, it’s a pretty rubbish first impression. Time keeping is hugely important in modern business, and you need to prove that you’re able to make it into work on time. You only get one chance to make a first impression, don’t blow it before you even get started.
2. Don’t Do Your Research
The most common interview question is “What do you know about us?”. If you want to blow your interview, the answer is “nothing”.
You should always research any company that you apply for. Make sure you know their biggest clients or ideal customer, any accolades they may have won, and their flagship products. Work this information into your answers, but don’t real off their website content.
Say why this is impressive, and what you can bring to them. Failing to properly research the company before you apply, is a sure-fire way to stop your job hunt in its tracks.
3. Be Unprepared
You can blow your interview pretty quickly by failing to turn up prepared. Don’t take a copy of your CV, leave your portfolio at home, and don’t bring anything they asked you to. Being disorganised is a great way to blow your job interview.
Don’t assume that because you emailed over a copy of your resume, that the interviewer will have one. Take a couple of copies just in case. Your portfolio should contain varied examples of your work, especially those pieces you’re proud of.
Make sure you have work to showcase all the skills you intend to talk about. You should also make sure you go to the interview with questions for the employer. This will show that you’ve done your research and are interested in the company.
4. Answer Your Phone
It’s no secret that we’re a nation of cell phone addicts. But if you want to shine at your job interview, keep it turned off. You can sink it faster than the Titanic by answering it mid-question.
It is proper interview etiquette to keep it turned off at all times. But if it must be on, leave it on silent. If you’re unlucky enough for it to go off; apologise and DO NOT pick it up. It looks highly unprofessional – not to mention rude – and will guarantee you don’t get a call back.
5. Bad Mouth Your Current Employer
Sure, you hate your current job. That’s why you’re at an interview. But don’t spend the time slating your current boss and position. This certainly doesn’t give off a very good impression and is one of the easiest ways to blow the interview.
Instead, be constructive about your reasons for leaving. Say the experience has been valuable, but the position isn’t for you. Keep your dignity, and you’re much more likely to reach the next stage of the recruitment process.
Finding a job is difficult enough. Don’t make things harder for yourself by making these embarrassing and easy to avoid blunders.