We’ve covered some of the things you can do that might help you in a job interview, but there are also things that might help you if you avoid doing them in an interview setting.
Aim to be positive about past experience, even if you have had a horrible experience in your last role, or have been unemployed. A panel is likely to favour someone who is positive and forward thinking over someone who is bitter about their past. Be prepared to put a positive slant on anything negative when you are asked about your past experience. You will have learned something and there will be something positive in there.
If asked about periods of unemployment, be honest. Being caught lying in an interview can mean an instant rejection. If you left a job due to bad experiences, you could simply say that you have decided to “explore new opportunities.”
A lack of confidence or acting like a job is beneath you
Confidence is important. Fight through the nerves and show the employer a good impression of the real you, your skills and experience – you have nothing to lose! The interview panel are trying to determine if you have the right experience for the role, while figuring out if you would be a good person to work with and a team player.
Negative behaviours in the interview could lead to them considering another candidate. While it is important to be confident in your interview and outline your skills, there is a fine line between being confident and coming across as someone who brags and considers the role beneath them. Relay to the interview panel that you are highly qualified based on your experience and examples of work you have, but remain positive, smile, give eye contact and avoid being boastful or claim that you would find that kind of job “easy”.
Leaving electronic devices switched on
To avoid appearing rude, put your mobile phone on silent and do not check texts or emails during your interview. If you forget to silence it and it rings, don’t panic! Apologise and silence it. If you are using a tablet or laptop to show work examples, ask permission first, otherwise keep them switched off and out of sight.
Using slang and poor grammar
Being professional, clear and concise will demonstrate to the panel that you can talk respectfully to fellow colleagues and customers. Never swear!
Talking too much (or too little)
Consider your answers to questions to be mini stories. They need a clear beginning, middle and end. For example, an answer where you outline your experience could include an example of how a particular task came about (the beginning), how the task was carried out (the middle) and what the results of this task were (the end). Think about your answer carefully and employ this structure to give strong answers.
You should spend some time researching the company before you attend the interview, as candidates are usually asked what they know by the panel. Look online at their website, business plans, annual reports and social media pages for a real flavour of what the company does and where it plans to go. Memorise a few key facts and include these in some of your answers to show you know about the business. If you go the extra mile and use your initiative to consider their customer base, competitors and strengths as a business, it might show that you really know your stuff!
There is usually a chance in an interview for candidates to ask questions. Preparing for these gives a good impression. However, give your questions consideration as asking something you should already know shows you might not have conducted enough research. You could spend a little time researching online what might be affecting the kind of job you are applying for or the industry it is in, and asking a question about this. It would demonstrate to the interview panel that you are really keen to learn and progress in the role.
The Steps To Success team are here to help you on your journey into employment and can offer further interview and job seeking advice. Email them via email@example.com, call 0161 686 8000 or pop in to one of our weekly job clubs for more help and advice.Back
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