All job interviews are different. Some have a panel of people asking you questions, some are done as part of a mass team. Some have problem-solving games, others get straight to the nitty-gritty. There are lots of tips out there on how to get the best out of your interview (including our fantastic blog ‘5 Top Interview Tips’) but more interestingly are the things NOT to do.
Working within the recruitment industry, we encounter these interview no-nos more often than you would expect. It was therefore only natural that our next blog should cover what not to do during your interview.
1. Don’t have your phone on display.
Phones are a massive part of our daily lives, our handheld encyclopedias are always just a thumb swipe away waiting to burst news headlines and gossip into our lives. The illuminating screens and the constant pinging notifications- let’s face it they are a massive distraction.
However, it’s not the notifications that are the issue. The problem we face time and time again is the interviewee answering the notifications!
“I just need to get this” or “two seconds sorry” and answering a call mid-interview happens time and time again. Nothing screams bad manners and shows a lack of interest more to the interviewer than this action so to err on the side of caution – put your phone on silent and put it away.
A very common question asked during the interview process is “Why are you leaving your current position?”. This question is a fantastic opportunity for you to show your ambitions, your skills and your personality in a subtle way. Statements such as “I’m looking to develop my skill set further” or “I’m looking for a new challenge” are great. The reality, however, is that many people use this question as a way of displaying the negatives.
“I hate my job!”, “my boss is awful” “I just hate the place”
Answers like this are a giant red flag. Your interview is a means of showcasing not only your skills but your attitude to work. Bad mouthing your current/previous employer is not the way you want to present yourself.
“How long is this going to take, I have an appointment in half an hour” – Fitting interviews in around your busy schedule can be difficult but if it can be avoided try not to overbook yourself at the time of interview.
4. Don’t avoid answering the question.
Your CV acts as an introduction to who you are. It should present a summary of skills, experience and goals. The keyword here is ‘summary’. When it comes to the interview process the interviewer wants to give you the opportunity to delve into your summary further. It’s a golden ticket to have your opportunity to shine.
So why do so many people take it the wrong way?
Interviewers and recruiters are often faced with the statement “it’s on my CV” – If you are attending interview after interview it can be tedious going through your history but this is a sales pitch – you are selling yourself, whether it’s written on your CV or not, take the opportunity to explain just how good you are!
5. Don’t leave without having a question up your sleeve.
Finally the parting words “Do you have any questions for us?”. Many people panic with this which can mean they ask something that can be deemed inappropriate; such as asking how soon they can take a holiday. Questions of this nature before you have your foot in the door, doesnt leave the best impression. Instead, it is always a good idea to have something up your sleeve to show you have taken an added interest in the company or role. Make the question less self-orientated.