A new year is often a great time to make a new start on the job front. Matthew Crist looks at the things that could cost you dear when it comes to finding your ideal position for 2014 in an article written for EuroMaTech.
You’ve seen the job of your dreams advertised, you’ve applied, and now you’ve been asked to come for an interview. What could possibly go wrong?
Well in truth, quite a lot.
There are plenty of blogs and articles telling prospective employees what they need to do in order to secure a job, or how to nail an interview in 10 easy steps. But knowing what not to do is just as important.
In truth, most of us probably wouldn’t know that some of our actions in the interview room can do us more harm than good.
So here’s your chance to brush up on those interview “no-no’s” that could be oh so costly to your chances of landing that desired job.
1. Not Doing Your Research
When you go for an interview you should try and find out as much as you possibly can about the company before hand. Even if you’ve never heard of the firm before, you need to find out what they do, where they operate and any other key information which might help you secure the job. In the past this could prove to be tricky, but thanks to the internet (and that handy tool you may have heard of called Google) there is now no excuse to turn up unprepared.
2. Bad Habits
Picking your nose, biting your nails, scratching your face, fiddling with your ears, not to mention over exaggerated yawning – take your choice. Any of these activities are not only extremely anti-social; they also suggest to a potential employer that you are nervous and awkward around people: as well as being pretty disgusting to work with.
3. Criticising Your Previous Employer
You’re obviously fed up or frustrated with your current job (or got the sack) that’s why you are at the interview. But the worst thing you can do is sit there and slate your previous (or current) employers. As well as making you look a little bitter and twisted, the people who are interviewing you may well know these employers, or have to contact them for a reference – so best keep your feelings to yourself!
4. Not Maintaining Eye Contact
When you are in an interview you want to look engaged and interested (even if you’re not). Looking out of the window or taking in the artwork on the walls will only make you look disinterested and generally not bothered. Try and keep eye contact while you are talking to your interviewer, even if it’s just for a few seconds at a time.
5. Failing to Ask Questions
It’s usually expected that the interviewee asks a few questions during the meeting or at the end. So to save an embarrassing few moments of silence – try and think of at least two general questions you can ask when the time comes. Again, at least seem interested.
6. Looking at or Using Your Phone
Before you even go into your interview you need to make sure your phone is switched off, or to silent mode. If for some reason you forget to do this, whatever you do, DON’T even think about answering a call or text message! Simply apologise and turn off the phone while changing the subject swiftly.
7. Don’t Look at Your CV
It’s not a bad idea to bring a few copies of your CV to an interview so that everyone is up to speed with your experience qualifications - but try and resist the temptation to keep one for yourself. According to body language experts, it makes you look nervous and uncomfortable if you refer to your own documents. Have a good read through your own résumé before going into the interview so that you appear confident and self-assured when it comes to your past achievements.
8. Avoid Using Clichés
Things like: “I’m a hard worker,” “I’m a team player,” or “I’m a real go-getter,” not only make you sound like you’ve swallowed a self-help manual; but they are also things that most interviewers have heard a hundred times before. Try and use examples of work you have carried out or stories of your achievements to really demonstrate what you are capable of.
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