7 Golden Pieces of Advice on Job Interviews
Each one of us has at least once had to attend a job interview. At least once in your life you go through this experience that can be slightly unpleasant, sometimes awkward, but also palatable or even exciting. If you are “lucky” like me, you spend some of your worktime at job interviews. Not as a candidate, but as an interviewer. Trust me, the two positions are not so different. Let’s take a look at what it is to avoid to make the interview run smooth for both parties 😊.
There’s never a good chance they are going to accept you once you arrive late at an interview. This is the one shot you have to show you are punctual. I once read a poster at my university saying arriving on time is 70% of your success. And I agree. If it ever happens you’re running late, don’t hesitate to call in advance. Every HR can understand you got stuck in a traffic jam when told up front, but not when they have already been waiting for you for 15 minutes. Value your time and the time of others.
The dilemma you may be trying to crack in the morning is: What on earth should I be wearing? It’s sometimes tricky to guess the company culture not to dress up or dress down. Although you would get away with wearing a suit to an interview with Red Bull, you might feel quite awkward while everyone around you is wearing jeans and T-shirts. Trust me, I’m speaking from my own experience. I occasionally welcome candidates for a teacher position at Empire who are dressed for a beach party. I’m sure no one imagines their teacher to be dressed in a wifebeater wearing flip-flops. For me, it is quite difficult to separate the image I see with the skills the candidate is demonstrating during an interview.
Making sure you know where you apply is a great first step – even before you apply for the position. Knowing the company credo, what they do and why it is essential. Not only for the purpose of pleasing the interviewer. Ask yourself if you really would be indifferent working for a brand you cannot identify with.
Before you send your CV, scroll down and look at those other skills like PC, MS Office, SAP, etc. The best option is to be honest about these. Ask yourself – do I know what IT stands for? (You know what I’m referring to… 😊 If not, watch the IT crowd series.) Not to mention more fundamental knowledge. A candidate I once had at an interview had stated on her CV she had extensive teaching experience and to my question what material she used with her students, she answered textbooks. However, when I asked if she could mention at least one textbook name, she wasn’t able to say. Not sure if this was a total amnesia or a simple lie. Anyway, it’s never worth it lying on your CV or at the interview. That I know for sure.
Why did you leave your previous company? This question might come up quite often. It is also one of my favourites. It shows you handling your past work relationships and the way you look at them. If I were you, I’d stay positive or neutral at most. Bitching about your ex-employer doesn’t leave a good impression with your new potential boss.
Know your stuff. Provided that you apply for a position within your skills range, make sure you have all the knowledge you are required to know at that position. There is a time at the interview when skills and knowledge are the topic. Vague answers and ill-preparedness is not the key to success.
The reason a person gets looking for a job in the first place is money. If you were a billionaire, surely you wouldn’t apply for a job with a company, going through interviews testing your skills – or not seriously at least. It is an important topic how much you can get paid at this job and what the benefits are. Nonetheless, don’t be too eager. I once had a candidate ask me this question during the initial phone call. It just sounded like he wasn’t interested unless I offered him some great deal. You can imagine the outcome.
Follow these and just be yourself – or the best version of yourself (haha :D) and you will surely rock the interview. Do you have any funny stories from job interviews? Let us know in the comment section below. Do you want to rock your interview? Check out our Job Interview Course.
punctual – arriving on time
dress up – dress formally
dress down – dress informally
get away with – you do something wrong with no negative consequences for you
awkward – embarrassing
wifebeater – a tank top / T-shirt without sleeves
fundamental – basic, crucial
amnesia – a state when you don’t remember anything
to bitch about – to complain about
vague – with no clear meaning
eager – very keen / trying hard