Essential Job Interview Tips: What Not to Do

A job interview can put even the most seasoned professional under a lot of stress. And when under stress, we can do or say things we don’t mean. We can also give the wrong impression, and that is the last thing you want to do in your job interview.

The key to minimizing interview mistakes is to be well prepared and anticipate potential pitfalls, as well as potential red flags the employer might have regarding your candidacy. Here are a few essential tips to keep in mind for your next job interview.

Don’t just wing it. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that all interviews are the same. Also, don’t be overconfident. Just because you have gone on several interviews before doesn’t mean you don’t need to prepare.

Each organization has its own system and criteria during a job interview, so you will have to prepare for each job interview taking into account their corporate culture and job specifications. To do this, research the organization online, take note of any keywords listed in the job listing and prepare STAR stories that will highlight how you possess those skills or strengths.

Don’t humblebrag. While you do want to be able to articulate your strengths and know your worth as a professional, avoid taking it too far. Humblebragging is ineffective and annoying to hiring managers. Don’t elaborate on your strengths unless you as asked to and don’t pretend that you don’t have a professional weakness.

Don’t forget to ask questions. An interview is a two-way street. While the hiring manager will be interviewing you, don’t forget to ask them questions of your own. You will want to make sure that the job will be a good fit for you, for your lifestyle, and for your family. We recommend asking the following questions:

  • What are the expectations for this position in the first month and first three months?
  • Why is this position available?
  • What type of person best succeeds in this role?
  • What are the company’s goals for this role in the first year?
  • How would I be evaluated on my performance?

It’s also important to ask about things such as travel, scheduling flexibility, and mentoring programs.

Don’t leave without asking if the hiring manager has any hesitations about your qualifications. Too often professionals forget to ask this question in a job interview. If you are interested in the position, let them know you think the job would be a good fit for you. Then, don’t leave without giving yourself the opportunity to clear up any doubts the hiring manager may have. Once you leave the job interview, the chances of you being able to do so will have vanished. To do this, you can ask the hiring manager directly if they have any hesitations about you moving to the next level.

If you need more help preparing for your job interview, we would be happy to help. Find out more about our Job Search coaching package here