Much of your job interview performance comes down to common sense and professionalism. However, every now and then we hear of some really big job interview blunders. Some of them are so obvious but seemingly all too common in today’s job market, while a few are just plain outrageous. Either way, we wanted to share a few with you and hope that you can avoid these mistakes at all costs.
1. The Mobile Phone Attachment Disorder
We get it. We love our phones too. Most of us are glued to our phones one way or another all day. It’s part of our job and probably part of yours too. But a job interview is one of those rare times that the phone has to be put away. And by put away, we mean, left in your bag, in the car or tucked in your back pocket with the vibrator turned off!! Most people understand they can’t answer their phones, but really, if you are checking your phone when it lights up, or getting distracted from the conversation when it starts buzzing on the table or in your pocket, you are at risk of blowing your interview.
2. The ‘My Last Boss was an Ass’ Rant
Yep. This happens. All. The. Time. And you know what? We understand. Lots of people leave their job because they didn’t get along with their boss for one reason or another. HOWEVER, your next potential employer or your recruiter, shouldn’t get the inside goss on this. It’s not professional. Especially in Sydney, where the market is incredibly small and everyone knows someone who knows someone. Whether the issue was any fault of yours is not relevant, it can reflect badly on you and begs the questions: What would you say about your potential new boss if you didn’t get along, and is this a red flag for how you are as an employee?
3. Getting Too Personal
It’s never a good idea to get too personal with your interviewer. Obviously getting comfortable is one thing, but divulging personal (non-work related) information, is too much too soon. Don’t sound off the crazy bells. Keep the conversation on track with professional, informative information that is work related.
4. Don’t Do Any Research
Otherwise known as ‘winging it’ – this won’t work. You need to research the company you are interviewing for. We are not proposing a 10 hour research project and if you are working with a recruiter, the recruiter should be able to give you a lot of this information. However, you do need to go online and have a snoop around. Do some social media stalking. Get familiar with the company in any way you can: who are they, what do they do, where have they been, where are they heading and who you are meeting with. In 2017, there is no excuse not to be doing this online research as a very minimum.
5. Rock up as Captain Relaxed
This is a job interview. For your career. Being cool, calm and collected is great, but don’t get complacent and assume the job is yours. Whether you are meeting a recruiter, HR, the line manager or the CEO, you need to treat your interview with professionalism and respect. This means, toss the take away coffee in the bin beforehand, wear appropriate attire for the job and keep your posture in mind. Slouching over or getting too relaxed in your chair is not a good look.
6. Don’t Respect Everyone
This is a motto for life but you’d be surprised how often people get this one wrong. Don’t dismiss someone because they are not who you are being interviewed by. Many of our clients will ask the receptionist, or anyone else you interact with prior or post your interview what they thought of you and how you treated them. It’s a big deal and if you are dismissive or don’t show all members of the company the respect they deserve, it could come back to bite you. So as in life, make sure you respect everyone in the process and remember that first impressions count.
A job interview is an opportunity. Grab it with both hands, and see what comes of it. Just make sure you are professional and use your common sense. The rest should fall into place.