Five things not to do at a job interview

InterviewJob interviews can be nerve-wracking at the best of times – and especially hard if you desperately want the job. Good preparation beforehand will help make the interview less stressful. And when it gets to the day of the interview, remember there are certain dos and don’ts that will help you make the second interview round. Here are our top five things NOT to do at a job interview: 

1. Show you haven’t done any research: 

It’s not difficult to do some basic background research on a company. Even if you don’t have access to the internet at home, you can still pop by a friend’s, an internet café, or (if you have a smartphone or laptop) any one of the numerous places, such as coffee shops, hotel lobbies or train stations, where wifi is now standard. You may already be familiar with the company who is interviewing you, but it’s still worth looking at the company website for latest news, and seeing what results come up when you do a web search for the company name. Ask beforehand for the names of the people who will interview you, and do a web search for them as well. 

2. Dress down: 

No one ever got rejected for looking smart. Unless you’re applying for the hipster-est of hipster agencies, it’s worth putting on your best clobber. Remember the guy who borrowed his friend’s suit to go for an interview in Mary Portas’ TV show, The Bottom Line ? He got the job.

3. Have no idea why you want the job: 

It may sound obvious but it’s highly likely you’ll be asked why you want this particular job and it’s important to be ready with a convincing answer. Again, do your research: find out why this company stands out, and why you might like to work for them. Look closely at the company culture and values and see if they match your own. If it is a part time job, don't say you are applying simply because you want part time work, you should still take care to specify why you want this particular company.

4. Fail to come up with examples that prove your skills and experience: 

Your potential employers will want to hear stories of where you’ve shone in the past and how you’ve dealt with tricky work situations. Ideally, you’ll be ready with two or three short case studies that will prove your experience in the field and illustrate why you’re right for the job. Go through your CV carefully and cast your mind back to any relevant situations in each job you’ve had. If you’re still struggling to come up with examples, talk to former colleagues.

5. Be clueless about latest developments:

You should be up-to-date on any new trends and technologies in your sector. Even if you have been out of work, you can still read trade publications (at the library if necessary), do some online research and/or meet up with like-minded friends and former colleagues who will tell you what’s happening.

Let us know what you think of this list: do you have any tips you’d like to add? Is there any advice you don’t agree with? Please share your comments with us on our Facebook Page or on Twitter.

For further advice about interviews, take a look at the free careers advice packs on Women Like Us.


Back to listing