Whether searching for your first job or hoping to move up the corporate ladder by landing a new position, finding a new job usually requires at least one interview. These formal conversations serve a vital purpose, allowing your potential employer to determine if you are as great as you look on paper and a good fit for the position. They are not meant to trick, scare, or intimidate you. Yet, most people feel anxious or nervous walking into an interview.
A great way to dispel your fears is to practice answering the usual interview questions with a mentor, friend, or family member. Knowing how to reply to interview questions without giving memorized answers will go a long way towards helping you ace the interview while appearing confident.
Just as important as what you should say is what you shouldn’t. Here are some things that you should leave out of that first meeting with a potential employer.
Murphy’s Law is especially true on the morning of an important interview. Give yourself a little extra time to deal with the inevitable coffee spill or traffic jam. Be punctual but not too early. Arriving too far ahead of schedule may pressure your interviewer to wrap up an important meeting or make them feel bad for making you wait.
Likewise, avoid making them wait for you because you are running late. Beginning your meeting with apologies gets the interview off on the wrong foot. Arriving five or ten minutes before your scheduled meeting will help put you at ease and start your interview on a positive note.
A recent phone survey conducted by Everest College found that 92% of Americans have fears about job interviews. Your nervousness is not unique to you. Every candidate who sat in that chair before you probably felt some anxiety. Opening your interview by confessing your feelings about the meeting will not help your cause.
While stress is completely normal, talking about it can portray a lack of self-confidence and open you up to scrutiny about how you will perform in your job under pressure. It is best to convince yourself to put on your most confident face and push through.
Similarly, avoid talking about your lack of experience. Whether you have the precise qualifications they are seeking or not, you have unique skills that you are bringing to the table. Focus on honestly communicating why you feel you are a good fit and can perform the job duties successfully. Transferable skills like communication and problem-solving are a great place to start.
Whether you are leaving your past or current employer for monetary reasons, work-life balance, lack of advancement opportunities, or personal disagreements, it is never a good idea to talk negatively about them. When asked why you are looking for a new job, be prepared to focus on the positive. What does this new job offer that your old one didn’t? Demonstrating the ability to keep conversations professional will reassure potential employers that you can support a positive company culture and protect their reputation should you decide to move on.
4. Bad Answers
You have probably heard that there is no such thing as a bad question, which is mostly true. However, there are bad answers to legitimate questions. The worst one to give in a job interview is, “I don’t know.” Yes, you will likely get hit with a question you have not thought about. In the heat of the moment, you may be tempted to blurt out the truth that you don’t have an answer – you don’t know.
Instead of giving into your gut, step back and take a moment to consider what you might say. You can buy some thinking time by rephrasing the question, asking a clarifying question, or simply asking for a moment to think. Your ability to think on your feet and come up with a thoughtful response will be well worth enduring the uncomfortable moment of silence.
5. The Wrong Words
The words you use can say a lot about you and the role you can play in a company. Using slang or profanity in an interview will appear unprofessional at best and may eliminate you from consideration for many positions. This fact is especially true of customer-facing jobs, as you are acting as a company representative.
Even those that keep their language out of the gutters can ruin opportunities with their choice of words during interviews at a Salt Lake City recruitment firm. Avoid using cliché phrases or interview buzz words that sound good but are overused. Tired of hearing the same things from every candidate, Recruiters may begin to tune out canned responses.
Likewise, filling gaps in the conversation with sounds like “umm” can quickly stale the conversation. Practice eliminating these from your speech altogether. Instead, slow down, take a breath, and give yourself time to think about what to say next. Short, silent gaps are normal and will help you appear confident and relaxed.
6. Impersonal Responses
Just because you talked about your last job on your resumé doesn’t mean they won’t ask about it. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your interviewer hasn’t read it. If a recruiter asks about something on your resumé, it is safe to assume they want to know more. Instead of referring them back to the document, take the opportunity to elaborate on the topic. Consider providing specific examples showing how you can apply what you learned to a new position.
At the end of the interview, you may get your chance to ask questions. What you ask will divulge your priorities and interest in the position. Take the time to research the company before you arrive to avoid revealing your ignorance by asking simple questions about what the company does. You can learn a lot by visiting their website. Use this opportunity to ask about how they do business and what your role would be.
7. Talk About Benefits
Each stage of the recruitment process serves a distinct purpose for professional job recruiters. The first interview allows them to gauge your skills, interest, and cultural fit. Beginning a discussion about benefits, pay, and paid leave is premature. To avoid appearing overly concerned with what you get from the job, table these discussions until later. Allow your prospective employer to choose the right time and place to discuss these topics. Instead, focus on what you have to offer.
Acing your interview and winning that dream job offer are goals within reach. The first step is learning to skillfully navigate your interview and show that you are the best candidate for the job by showcasing the best of yourself and leaving out the rest.
When going for an interview, we tend to prepare to say the right things. But did you know that there are also some things you should leave out during the job interview? Learn about these and don’t make the mistake of doing them on your meeting with a potential employer. Read on and take notes.