How NOT to Be a Job Interview Dummy
Job interviews can be quite nerve-wrecking. From properly crafting a job application to acing the actual interview, all steps need to be done amazingly well in order for the outcome to be positive.
Needless to say, there are many other aspects that need to be addressed when applying for a new job; however, in this article, we’ll point out some things you should NEVER do on your job interview if you want to avoid being a dummy an interviewer will remember. Here are some clear DON’Ts when it comes to job interview meetings.
Tell a ton of jokes during your interview.
Even though you might have been told that you have a good sense of humor, the interviewer is not there to see that side of you. Keep it as professional as possible. This goes not just for the interview itself, but also for the time before and after it. If you need to wait for your interview to start along with a group of other applicants, avoid telling jokes or being perceived as an interview clown. Someone who matters may hear you. Unless you’re at a comedy club, the chances are slim that they are looking for a comedian.
Show or say how desperate you are for this job.
The person interviewing you is there to assess your interpersonal qualities and professional skills. Don’t expect that you’ll get the job out of pity. Show off all your positive and professional sides and hope that will be enough to make you shine and stand out from the crowd.
Say anything negative about your former boss or colleagues.
Sometimes the interviewer will ask you about your previous work history. This is strictly because he wants to hear about your professional work, experience and other duties you’ve done in your life. Alternatively, he might want to hear you talk and assess your communication skills.
Bashing your former boss or any of your ex colleagues is a bad idea. Such conduct WILL be perceived in a negative way. Even if you are applying for a job in a company that is a direct competitor of your ex company, roasting your ex employer may be entertaining to your job interviewer; nevertheless, your chances of getting the job will be seriously jeopardized.
Think that the interview is done just because the interviewer is done with asking official questions.
Nothing is done until you hear the sentence “You’re hired!” In fact, many would add that even then your work isn’t done; it’s just the beginning. From the way you walk, talk, or behave, even after the interview, or before, for that matter, you will be evaluated on whether or not you’re a good fit for the job opening. Just because the “serious” part of the interview is over doesn’t mean you can start behaving any less professional.
Lie or make up things.
This goes for both your job application and your actual interview. Sure, everyone wants their resume to stand out, and in an attempt to achieve that, one may even be tempted to add some shiny things. But don’t do that! Sooner or later, you may slip and at that point, your chances to get the job are next to nothing. By all means, use proper or fancy phrasing to make your resume and your previous work history sound a bit more positive than it actually is. But do NOT lie. Do NOT make things up.
Panic if you don’t know something.
The interviewer may even ask you one of those “sneaky” questions to which he doesn’t even expect you’ll know the answer to, but perhaps he just wants to see how well you handle a situation when you don’t know something. Even if that’s not the case, and the question is a serious interview question, panicking and freaking out about it will not help you in any way.
Keep calm, and if you don’t know the answer, honesty is your best way out. In particular, adding something positive after stating that you may not know the answer to that question can be beneficial. Something like this may be your perfect way out: “I’m honestly not sure about that since I haven’t dealt with it in the past. However, I am willing to learn and, in case you decide to hire me, I’m completely confident I’ll grow with the new role and I’ll be able to meet your expectations.”
Answer questions with just “yes” or “no”.
As mentioned above, your interviewer wants to hear you talk. What is to be assessed, among other things, is your communication skills and how well you interact with others. So, answering questions with a simple “yes” or “no” may be perceived as a lack of communication or interpersonal skills.
Try to be slightly more elaborate when answering certain questions without boring your interviewer. Monitor his facial expressions and body language to spot when you may be talking for a bit too long so that you can make it shorter.
Talk about salary, benefits or anything similar.
The chances are pretty high that there will be a second interview round or an additional conversation where details will be discussed. So, until you get an official job offer, try to delay any conversation about the salary, benefits, retirement, vacation or incentive programs. We all know that stuff like that is important; however, avoid talking about money at this stage.
There are even more things you could do during your job interview which could make you look like a dummy – to say the least. For example, having a tattoo on your forehead will severely lower your chances of being hired as a PR spokesman of most companies in the world, but if you stay away from the things listed above, you should significantly increase your chances of being hired. The rest is up to you. Good luck!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.