Congratulations – you’ve landed an interview for that dream job! There is lots of information and advice out there about what to do and how to answer those tricky questions they throw at you. There are however some things which could write off your chances of getting that job before you even get started. Here are the main interview pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Anyone who has ever recruited for a job will know that many candidates saunter in late, or don’t turn up at all. If you are unavoidably delayed then call the business and let them know, don’t just assume they’ve heard about the bus strike or other event. Always leave more time than you think you’ll need; if you’re early you can always grab a coffee nearby or sit in the car park until it’s time to go in.
You can’t predict exactly what you’re going to be asked, but you can have a fair guess. Think about what they might ask about current or previous jobs, experience you’ve had in team working or challenges you’ve overcome. Spend a few minutes looking at the company website, finding out what they do and basic information such as how many employees they have and whether they have offices overseas.
When you’re under pressure, two things can happen. Either your brain turns to mush and you can’t think of anything to say, or your tongue runs away with you and you can’t seem to stop talking. If you’re a rambler, make a concerted effort to pause before you start speaking, think about what you’re being asked, and make sure you answer the question in full without getting sidetracked.
Employers won’t expect you to kknow everything. If you’re asked about something you have no experience of or a technical question you don’t know the answer to, don’t be tempted to make something up or lie – they’ll know. It’s far better to say that you don’t have no experience but would be interested in learning a specific skill, or saying that you don’t know about one thing, but have knowledge in a related area which may help. The same rule applies to CVs as employers can and do check with schools and Universities that you have the qualifications you’re claiming to have.
Criticising your Current Job
One of the most common interview questions is about why you want to leave your current employer. If you’re having a nightmare with your boss it can be very tempting to launch into a rant about how awful they are, how you hate your colleagues and how your current employer’s products are dreadful. This type of response is going to paint you as awkward and difficult to manage, so try to keep it professional. Even if you do hate your current job, say something about looking for a new challenge, or pick an aspect of the new job which particularly interests you such as possibilities for training or management.