Tuesday, 6 January 2015

5 Things not to Mention in Your Job Interviews

You made it through the early stages of the application process for your dream job - you passed a battery of tests. Now, you have been called for an interview. You can heave a sigh of relief, but don’t get too excited just yet. After all, getting an interview is no guarantee of a concrete job offer.
In the candidate driven market today, the interview figures are officially on an uptrend, according to APSco.  This favorable bit of good news, however, leads some candidates to be complacent. Don’t let all your preparation and hard work go to waste.  Increase your chances for success by keeping in mind these 5 things that your interviewer most likely does not want to hear.
1.   The Story of Your Life
During the interview, you’ll probably have less than an hour to make a good impression.  Sure, it is normal to feel the pressure of trying to show your personality in such a short time, but do not waste whatever time you have by narrating your life story – including your GCSE and SAT scores, your home DIY projects, and what have you. Remember, 70% of effective communication is non-verbal. Giving a firm handshake, having a confident body language, and smiling throughout the interview will leave a more lasting impression. Settle down and intently listen to the questions. Give relevant and concise answers and avoid giving out too much information.
2.   Being Very Grateful
Being polite and thanking the interviewer for his time is enough to show your appreciation for being considered for the job. Do not go overboard as it may raise some questions on whether you actually deserve the job or not. Show confidence that you are worth the time spent for the interview because of your skills and capabilities. Remember that you were singled out for an interview for a reason – you are seriously being considered for the job. They invested time to get to know you more so don’t waste the chance.
3.   How Your Old Boss, Team, or Company Was a Total Nightmare
Although it may be true that your last job was hell, every employer looks for loyalty in prospective employees. You have to be careful in explaining why you decided to leave your former job without sounding insincere or making comments that will put your former employer in a bad light. Highlight at least a couple of your greatest strengths, and relate them to your new role.  Show how you can use these traits in good stead and how challenging your new job will be. This way, no matter how terrible your previous situation was, you are letting the interviewer read between the lines; and he will most likely appreciate your respect and restraint.
4.   Fluffy Replies
As HRD becomes more in tune to the company’s business, “commercial acumen” is typically among the qualities employers look for in applicants. Interviews usually revolve around competency questions intended to gauge your business insight. Thus, you have to expect and prepare for such questions even if they say that the interview will be informal. Replying with no figures or facts to back you answers will only make you look unprepared. You will not create any impact this way. Maximize use of your interview time by following the STAR method – Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Focus on ROI and the bottomline.
5.   Asking Too Many Questions
The interview is supposed to be a two-way street, and asking questions is a vital part of it. You can ask questions to see if this move is right for you, how you can contribute, and how prepared you are for the job.  As you can easily rattle these off a prepared list, be cautious not to ask a lot of questions as it may appear forced, and dilute whatever information you are getting. The focus may also shift to “what’s in it for me.” Instead, prepare 4 or 5 key questions that the interviewer is in the best position to answer and take note of the insight he provides. This way, a more engaging conversation around these relevant bits of information will take place.

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