The internship season is coming to an end and you may be looking to turn your internship into a job. But with any job comes the inevitable (dreaded) interview.
I know just how stressful and nerve-racking interviews can be. You never know what to expect, and the interviewer(s) may throw tricky interview questions at you to test you.
I’ve had my fair share of interviews and picked up a few tips along the way, especially what NOT to do when opportunity knocks.
When you’re preparing for your next interview think about avoiding these 5 things that may trip you up when you’re on the spot, so you can stay on your feet.
1. Don’t Be Late
Be early. Being late makes a bad impression before you’ve even got your foot in the door. It says the person’t time is less valuable than yours. You’ll also get there stressed and off your game. If it happens, and it does, when you get there, say “I was delayed, let’s get started.” Don’t waste even more of their time explaining yourself.
2. Don’t Speak Negatively About Your Current Employer
No matter how much you hate your current job/internship or your boss, badmouthing them won’t end well for you. In fact, it will reflect more badly on you than it will on them and will have the interviewer questioning how loyal you’ll be, and what you would say about them.
Be respectful and careful about what you say in an interview. It’s a smaller world than you think, and you never know how people are connected or if your paths will cross again.
3. Don’t Forget To Do Your Research
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t research the company or the role before an interview. One of my father’s friends was a salesman in the days before Google. But this guy did his homework, and often flat out knew more about the company than the person he met with. Needless to say, that impressed them, and he won a lot of business that way.
Google makes it easy for you to find out what the company actually does or how it operates. You’re always going to be asked what you know about the company in an interview and why you want to work with them. So go to their website, (and their competitor’s websites), click their ‘About Us’ page and be prepared! Checking out their social media sites works well too, and you know they’ll be checking yours.
4. Don’t Forget To Ask Questions
If you’re really interested in a job, an interviewer will expect that you want to hear more about the role or the company. Asking questions shows you’re interested in them and also shows that you’ve thought about the role. It can be something as simple as “What will a typical day in this job involve?” “Who will I be reporting to? “How many people are on this team?” These questions show that you are already visualizing yourself in the position, and that the position is important to you.
5. Don’t Dress Inappropriately
Just like being late, first impressions matter. Whether we like it or not, people make subconscious judgements based on appearance. In today’s start-up world, there are many companies with a more casual approach to workwear but no matter how casual the company dress code is you should always remember one important rule for your interview – ‘Always dress better than they do’.
Interviews are stressful (REALLY stressful). You don’t want to walk into an interview feeling even more stressed by being late or unprepared. Even worse, you don’t want walk away feeling like you blew it because you made a basic mistake. No matter how much you prepare, no interview will be ever be perfect, but if you avoid these 5 don’ts, you’ll avoid those post interview blues.
Oh, and tie your shoe laces so you don’t actually trip.