So you applied for that job you’ve always wanted and managed to land an interview. Congratulations!
You’ve at least been noticed. But now’s not the time to pull back and take it easy. Interviewing is possibly the most difficult part of the hiring process. And since we want you to land that dream job, we thought we’d help you out a little.
So how do you hit a home run during your interview and make sure you get called back for another one?
Here are five things not to do while interviewing for a job.
In an interview, your goal should be to answer the question directly. Here’s how not to do that:
Q: So tell me why you think you are the right fit for this job and company.
A: Well I love what you guys do. I love my wife too. She's so awesome, and she makes great biscuits. Like Paula Deen. But she didn’t get sued like Paula Deen, except for that one time she put a pitchfork through our neighbor’s window. But we all make mistakes, right? I’m sorry . . . what was the question?
If you have a natural tendency to ramble, stay self-aware during the interview. Do your best to stay on point and only answer the question asked.
You might say that the person in the last example overshared, which would be true, but you can overshare without rambling. For example:
Q: Tell me about your biggest failure.
A: Wow. Tough question. I cheated on my fiancé one time with this guy I met at the food court. Then we had a fight on an airplane, and he broke up with me in front of 100 people at 30,000 feet. That was a tough day.
Um, you’re being interviewed about your professional life. Keep it professional, not personal.
On the flip side, don’t clam up in your interview. Show your personality and why you are the person for the job. If you’re withdrawn in the interview, it might look something like this:
Q: What is one of your strengths?
A: I’m a good communicator.
Q: Okay. In what way?
A: I like to talk to people.
Q: Right. And you enjoy talking to people?
Q: Do you feel like you’re a good fit for this position?
A: I’m a good communicator.
When you clam up, you might seem disinterested and detached, and that’s not going to land you a job anywhere.
Be yourself. Don’t overshare, but don’t sit there with your arms crossed staring off into the distance.
4. Wing it
Don’t go and research the company on their website. Don’t talk to people that currently work there. Just show up at your interview and see what happens!
Great plan, right? Yeah, not so much.
If you go in without knowing who you’re talking to and what the company is about, then you don’t have a chance. Remember, you’re telling them why they need you, not the other way around.
5. Rip your former employer
If you have a bad taste in your mouth from your last job, your interview is not the place to vent your frustrations.
If they ask you why you left your last job, you should answer honestly. But spending any time at all ripping into your old boss or company will do you no favors. You’ll look bitter and petty—not attractive qualities to an employer.
These five things are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to having a successful interview, but we think they are pretty important.
As you seek out a new job, make sure you’re prepared for every interview that comes your way.
You should do work that matters to you. If you aren't sure how to get there, read our tips for landing your deam job!