Let’s face it, if you had to name twenty things you enjoy doing, job interviews wouldn’t necessarily feature in your top five loves.
Under nerve-wracking circumstances, we all say things a little less smoothly than what we practised at home, and can even say things we wish we’d never said at all. (And we have all been there.)
The good news? Job interviews get easier with time.
Here are six commonly made mistakes we come across at Agency Iceberg. Learn from this to ace your next interview.
1. Giving the ‘right’ answers
People often think that if they study for their interview and give all the ‘right’ answers, they’ll land the job. Wrong!
The aim of an interview is to demonstrate what you’re like and to stand out from the crowd. Giving the right answers will only make you sound like everyone else. Boooring!
Yes we all want to sound super sophisticated, intelligent and onto it – but – you know what’s more important than all that? Being yourself. Being honest. Being cautious about what you say to make sure it feels authentically ‘you’.
That doesn’t mean take your shoes off, put your feet up on the table and swear like a sailor (if that is your weekend jam). But what it does mean is having the courage to bring your unique perspective to the table. That’s what employers will remember.
2. Giving a folk about the realities of the role
A job interview can feel intimidating, but at the end of the day, it’s a conversation. You don’t need to act like a robot. The person interviewing you is a human who genuinely wants to know more about you.
Time and time again we see job interviewees so terrified they don’t get the info they really want to know out of the interview panel. Yes, a job interview can be intimidating, but are you able to think about the realities of the role and what it entails? Do you care what your work day would be like if you got the gig? Can you articulate this to demonstrate how much you might want the gig?
Have a few thoughtful questions in mind for the interviewer. These might include questions about the workplace culture (‘Can you tell me a little more about the culture here? How do you guys work with each other during busy times?’), workload (‘Can you tell me a little more about the day to day responsibilities and the expectations of the role?’) and opportunities for progression (‘It’d be great to learn more about what opportunities exist for high performers here as it looks like a great place to work’).
These sorts of questions will demonstrate your interest in the position, and also show you’re not willing to take just any job. Ultimately you’ll have to turn up every day if you get the gig – you need to know.
3. Appearing too nervous or too confident
While it’s normal to be nervous, there’s also over-the-top nervousness, conveyed through things like unnecessary apologies. Apologise if you spill coffee on the interviewer, not if you don’t know the answer to a question. If you come across as overly nervous, the interviewer may think you’re not confident enough to handle the job. To help calm your nerves, arrive at the interview ten minutes early so that you can quietly sit and catch your breath.
Appearing overly confident can be just as detrimental to your efforts. Employers are rarely impressed by outrageous claims or displays of ego. Definitely talk about great work you’ve done, but don’t brag or put others down.
4.Making things up
Although it can be tempting, don’t tell white lies, or any lies in fact. It always comes back to bite you.
Likewise if you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t guess or make something up, just admit you don’t know and move on.
Here are some good statements to keep up your sleeve if you’re not sure what the question is, or how to respond:
‘That’s a good question. I might need to take a few moments to respond with a considered answer.’
‘I’m not absolutely sure of the detail on that, but I’ll get that for you in an email afterwards.’
‘I don’t have the precise detail on that piece of work, but let me ask Agency Iceberg to send that to you after the interview.’
5.Being too familiar
Avoid cracking jokes about potentially sensitive topics and be aware of coming across as too familiar with the interviewer. Aim for personable and friendly, but always polite. Remember that they are interviewing potential employees, not potential friends.
Save the wise-cracking for once you land the job and get to know them. Then you can regale them with stories from da club and share your catalogue of selfies.
Would you like more interview advice? Get in touch with our expert Agency Iceberg Talent Agents here.