You’ve nailed it in your CV and got invited for an interview that is now just around the corner. And yet you are slightly anxious, perhaps for no reason, about this moment that is as much awaited as feared: the job interview. As we try to be the helping kind, we thought we’d share six mistakes to avoid in order to succeed in your job interview.
1- Don’t overdress
Like us, you’ve perhaps read many articles stating convincingly that you will never be blamed for overdoing it with your tie and just as many stating that it is not advisable to wear the total penguin look. No idea where to start? Neither do we.
As with pastry or alcohol, it’s all a matter of dosage. Find out what people working in your field are wearing and get closer to that. While the schizophrenia of the personal self and the pro self may still be present, don’t dress up to look like them because you won’t feel comfortable.
2- Don’t ignore your stress
Go to bed early the day before, do your pre-interview routine if you have one, read your notes one last time or meditate if you feel the need. Despite all these efforts, chances are you will still be stressed during your interview. Some of us will be more stressed than others, but being anxious at a time when your future job and career are at stake is completely normal. That’s why you have to be indulgent, accept your sweaty hands and your febrile voice, it’s the best way to get over it. Know that your interlocutor has experienced the same thing and will have a minimum of empathy for you (if not, run away from this company!).
You have prepared your interview and you are motivated by the job’s missions so don’t fight your stress, tame it.
3- Don’t exaggerate (too much)
A job interview is a time of seduction and it is therefore normal to show the best of yourself; even if it means exaggerating a little bit here and there, but be careful! Too much ‘wowing’ them can lead to big disappointments later on. Don’t forget that if you get the job, you will have to show them your expertise in Indesign and your fluent Chinese language skills. Be realistic about your skills without selling yourself short, your future employer will appreciate seeing the promises kept. Moreover, be careful with a job description that seems too good to be true because companies can also exaggerate.
4- Don’t be arrogant
This point is in addition to No. 3. Assume that even if you have the experience, skills and human qualities that make you an ideal candidate, you are still far from having seen, experienced and understood everything. This actually is a beautiful thing because if you’re looking for a job, beyond being able to pay your bills, you’re probably looking to learn new things. Humility is highly valued in professional life and even more so in an interview, but also in personal life.
5- Don’t be late
Do we really need to explain this?
6- Not to be factual
We all have impressions and feelings when it comes to talking about our experience, our relationship with others, with managers and colleagues. When it comes to talking about how you work with others, how you interact with people: be factual. Our feelings and how we experience things are unique to each of us and will not automatically resonate with your future employer so give examples; be concrete.
Your future employer will appreciate your transparency and be able to grasp what makes you who you are in a short period of time and will even think that you will be easier to manage; extra points for you.
So, ready? Good luck!