The job interview is the most critical step in the job search process. Avoid these potential disasters and you are one stop closer to getting your dream job.
There are definitely things that you can do to avoid minor mishaps which could ultimately blow an interview. Become familiar with these 7 potential interview disasters so you can prevent them from obstructing your path to that ideal job.
1. DON’T ARRIVE LATE
Showing up late is both rude and inconsiderate. Is this the first impression that you want to leave with a potential employer? Map out your route and try it out before the interview. Plan on being at least half an hour early to your appointment. This will provide a buffer to protect against wrong turns, traffic jams and all the other mishaps that may befall you. If you arrive early, you can use the time to calm your nerves.
2. DON’T SAY THE WRONG NAME
Many a nervous candidate has been known to accidentally call the interviewer the wrong name. In order to avoid this find out who you will be speaking to before the interview. Memorize the name(s). If this information is not available prior to the meeting, then write the person’s name on your notepad as soon as you sit down for the interview. If you do slip-up, do not make a huge fuss. Apologize quickly (and sincerely) and move on.
3. DON’T SAY THE WRONG THING
Choose your words carefully. Avoid impulsive answers; the first thing that pops into your head may not be the best response. Remember, it’s ok to pause if you need some time to think. Feel free to say “that’s a good question; let me take a moment to think about it.” This demonstrates that you think before you speak. Is your everyday speech peppered with expletives or other potentially offensive phrases? If so, take care to avoid these during your meeting.
4. DON’T BECOME SPEECHLESS
Interviews are stressful situations for even the most qualified candidates. This tension can lead to candidates “freezing up” during the meeting. Alleviate some of the expected stress by practicing mock interview questions. Have a friend conduct simulated interviews. If possible, have him/her conduct the interview in a variety of manners including reserved, rushed, and disinterested. This way you will be better prepared for whatever the interview may bring.
5. MONITOR YOUR INTERNAL SYSTEM
Nature has a funny way of acting up at the wrong moments. Fortunately, you can help prevent these unwanted incidents. Avoid the awkwardness of a growling stomach by eating a few hours before the interview. Be careful in what you eat and drink in the 24 hours prior to the interview. Do not overindulge; an upset stomach or hangover is formidable distraction.
6. DON’T BE TOO MODEST
The interview is no place for humbleness. Too much modesty can make you appear introverted or lacking confidence. Don’t be afraid to be your own cheerleader. Prior to the interview, make a list of your accomplishments both personally and professionally; practice talking about them. Have a friend listen to your answers as you practice. This will help prevent you from crossing the line between justifiable pride and boasting.
7. DON’T LACK ENTHUSIASM
No one wants to work with a stick in the mud. With this in mind, how can you prevent from appearing lukewarm? Smile and maintain eye contact. Sit forward in your chair. Avoid speaking in a monotone. Be positive in your responses.
By preparing yourself against these potential interview disasters you are one step closer to getting the job of your dreams. Remember sometimes it really is the little things that make the difference.