We all make mistakes. Even at interviews.
But before you start letting your nerves get the better of you, the good news is that most interview nightmares are easy to avoid. It all comes down to preparation – as well as knowing which things are likely to go wrong.
Let’s take a look at the worst things you can do on interview day:
Arriving late – It sounds obvious – but you’d be surprised with how many people don’t turn up on time. Lateness isn’t just unacceptable, but it also makes you look like you aren’t taking the opportunity seriously. After all, if you’re not professional enough to arrive on time for an interview, how can an employer guarantee you’ll be any different if they actually decide to offer you the position? You need to get your timing (and route) sorted before you set off, and make sure you have an alarm clock.
Not preparing – Although being over prepared can be a concern for some, in reality it’s far better to have a few key notes written down than coming into the interview with nothing at all. Same applies when it comes to interview questions. Practicing a few answers will ensure you won’t be caught by surprise. Even if it’s just going through them with family and friends.
Don’t forget body language – Always keep eye-contact. Doing this shows your enthusiasm and shows that your attention is fully on the conversation. You’ll also ensure that your interviewer knows you aren’t intimidated by the situation. Other body language points to consider include a firm handshake and smiling. And yes, it actually helps. Avoid fidgeting, slouching and chewing gum, as again, it gives the poor impression that you’re not taking the opportunity seriously.
Take these points into account when preparing for an interview, and never forget practice is perfect.
Also, take a copy of your last CV with you at the interview. It will show your potential employer that you are an organised person, which is always a good thing!