Job interviews are always a nerve-wracking experience. Even for the most confident person, going into a situation where you have half an hour to talk yourself up, stretch your qualifications as far as they will go, and convince a stranger that you are the right person for the job is enough to get anyone feeling a little jittery and anxious. One of the best ways to feel better going into the interview is to prepare yourself for what things to say, but you’re more likely to leave an even better impression if you know what things to avoid as well.
Here are the top 5 things to avoid doing in a job interview
1. Saying Negative Things about Previous Employers
Try to avoid saying negative things about any of your previous employers; no matter how justified you are in doing so a job interview is not the place to voice those feelings. That’s not to say that you can’t express why you were unhappy with your last position, but make sure to keep it professional. Going on a rant about how big of a jerk you last boss was doesn’t leave much room to impress your new potential employer, and if anything, it makes you appear difficult to work with.
2. Over-Explaining Your Answers
When asked a question in an interview, it’s important to get your point across without being too wordy. It’s not necessary to over-explain your answers, so try and respond to any questions thoroughly but in the most condensed way possible. Many people have the habit of talking too much when they get nervous, and that can come across as insecure and uncertain in an interview. Be confident in the response you give the first time, and don’t spend an excess amount of time trying to clarify what you meant; respond, and unless the interviewer asks you to elaborate, move on to the next question.
3. Leaving Your Phone On
This one seems obvious, but given the frantic and stressful feelings that come along with a job interview, it can be easy to forget this. Put your phone on silent, turn it off completely, or leave it in your car; just make sure you’re don’t leave the opportunity open for your phone to disrupt the interview process.
4. Being Uninformed of the Industry
There is nothing wrong with trying new things, and going for a job in an industry you’re inexperienced with can be a great way to pick up some new skills. However, even if your employer is well aware of your lack of experience, it helps to go into the interview with some background information in the field, so make sure to do a little bit of research beforehand. Having absolutely no knowledge on the subject can signal to the interviewer that you haven’t cared enough about the position to look into it on your own time. Don’t attempt to be an expert, but try to learn enough so that you can carry on a conversation or answer a question related to the position.
5. Ending the Interview without Asking Questions
Once an interview is concluded, it’s common practice for the interviewer to leave a few minutes open for any questions the candidate might have. It’s important to take advantage of this opportunity for a couple different reasons. Most importantly, it allows you to clear up anything that wasn’t covered in the interview and shows the interviewer that you’re interested, eager, and actively thinking about the position. Not having any questions at the end can lead the interviewer to believe that you’re only halfheartedly interested. If it’s hard for you to think on the spot under pressure, prepare a few questions to ask beforehand in case you draw a blank when the time for questions come.
A job interview is all about first impressions, and even if you don’t know exactly what to expect when going in, there are ways you can prepare yourself. Make a list of things you want to say, and keep in mind these things to avoid. No matter what you do, make sure to be yourself and stay confident; if you’re capable of this, you’re capable of impressing any potential employer who comes your way.
Guest Author: Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer who enjoys exploring the vast world of career options.
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