5 Mistakes to Avoid in Any Interview
Going into an interview is always unnerving, whether you’ve done it more than 100 times or it’s your first. Having to sell yourself while coming across well is a delicate balance, especially when you don’t know the person or people you’re talking to.
Basically, it’s like a long blind date with a lot more on the line. While there are all kinds of advice out there, here are a few things NOT to do in your next interview.
Show Up Unprepared
Companies usually give you a lot of information both about them and the interviewers before they bring you in. Read it and then do some digging yourself. Going into the interview with only rudimentary knowledge of the company doesn’t show them that you really want the job. Instead, it signals that you don’t care enough to put in the effort to peruse their careers page and do a quick Google search of the latest company news.
And, if a recruiter sends over the name(s) of the people you’ll be speaking with, search them on LinkedIn at the very least to get a sense of their experience and work history. That way, should the opportunity arise, you can try to bond with them over something you share.
Only Answer Questions
Yes, you’re expected to answer a lot of questions in an interview. That’s the whole point. But, you should come prepared with your own questions, too. Not only does that signal your interest in the position and company, but it shows that you will take an active role in discussions and meetings if hired.
If you’re stuck on what to ask, keep it generic. Ask about the culture of the company, how the team dynamic is or what the manager is looking for in their ideal hire. The point is to engage in the conversation so it’s not one-sided.
Pretend You Know an Answer When You Don’t
If you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t make one up or act as if you know. Instead, use it as an opportunity to show you can be humble and how you would handle yourself if a similar situation came up on your team or with a client or manager. Offer to look up the answer or do research and get back to them within a specified timeline. While it’s obviously not ideal, it is better than getting caught in a lie. Plus, it shows how you deal with conflict.
Put on an Act
An interview is your opportunity to show a company and the hiring manager your personality. While it’s important to put your best foot forward, it’s equally as important to be yourself.
Use Corporate Jargon
In the same vein as being yourself, don’t pepper your speech with jargon. Speak how you normally would in a professional setting. Be direct but kind and leave the figures of speech and words that don’t really mean anything behind.
So, the next time you’re prepping for an interview (because you should always prep, hence the first point here) consider these as what NOT to do. Then, go into your interview confident, capable, and as the best version of you.