When you’ve found a position you really want, previous experience as an interviewee can become a distant memory, so don’t expect any interview to go ‘as planned’. If you know you’re prone to come undone under pressure, you don’t need to pretend your way around it.
What is most important when nerves strike, is that you can demonstrate the ability to successfully navigate flaws. If you come across as curt or impolite when stressed, being aware of this can make all the difference. Similarly, it’s important that you understand even the brightest and best personality probably won’t be acknowledged if it comes poorly presented. So what should you definitely avoid doing in an interview setting? We cover the basics here:
DON’T Slander previous employers
No matter how difficult or unfair your current situation is, never place a previous or current employer in poor light. Yes, “Why are you leaving your current place of work?” can be a loaded question, but whether you’ve been let go or you’re flying under the radar on this job hunt, never ever take this question as an opportunity to bag your last/current employer. We loved the spiel by the guy who was desperate to find a new position to avoid ongoing, devastating conflicts with his co-worker ‘I love my job but I promised myself that I would jump on a great opportunity when I saw one, even if it meant taking a risk. When I applied for this position, I didn’t do it lightly.”
While we admit that sometimes, interrupting is crucial to avoid time wasting, it’s more important to understand the impact regular interruptions have on progress. Trust that the person speaking will cover your questions. Take a notepad and jot down your questions as they arise. Come back to them when and if you need to. Focus is everything so most especially, never ever interrupt to deviate from the question.
DON’T Dwell on a stumble
Did you pronounce someone’s name incorrectly? Mumble through your answer? A small mistake can be emphasised in an interview setting, but it can also be an opportunity to demonstrate how to overcome small problems without making them into big ones. Follow the newsreader’s tact: never dwell on a mistake. If you make one, clarify it and move on with mind and word.
DON’T Give closed answers
Yes or No questions should be reserved for questionnaires only! In an interview, you should give thorough questions with support for your statements, without rambling. For example, the question “Are you comfortable liaising with clients,” is an invitation to talk about your ability to communicate. If you were to answer with a blunt ‘yes/no’ you’d be making a very clear demonstration. Avoid at all costs!
DON’T Smoke or Drink pre-interview
Goes without saying really. If you need to calm your nerves, deep breathing and mindfulness can be of assistance! If you are a smoker, wait until you’re well away from your interview setting to light up. Smell is one of the most powerful and impactful of your senses, it can drive strong emotional responses, not to mention the physical reactions. It’s really important not to head into an interview with bad breath, in a cloud of aftershave or perfume or with the odour of nicotine hanging around on your clothing or breath.
Melbourne recruitment agency First Personnel have helped thousands of individuals find and secure employment they can excel in. If you would like to speak with a member of our skilled team, email us today for more information via firstname.lastname@example.org.