Be warned: Some advice is terrible.
You may hear job interview advice from people who are already “out there” and working. However, they may have been hired despite their interview tactics, not because of them.
To save you the time of having to plow through 10+ pages of article results, we’ve compiled a list of what we consider some of the least helpful (and even detrimental) pieces of job interview advice. Avoid these common mistakes and you’ll be that much closer to landing your dream position.
“Arrive really early to impress your interviewer”
It might seem like a good idea to show up a half hour before the interview time – after all, aren’t employers impressed by workers who show up early? But you aren’t an employee yet, and arriving too early can put undue stress on the interviewer, who is likely pressed for time.
The career blog Pongo warns, “Arriving too early sends at least one of the following messages: You can’t follow directions, you think appointment times are ‘approximate,’ or you’re desperate. You won’t get interviewed until the scheduled time, and you’ll make people nervous by hanging out in the reception area.”
If you’re concerned about being punctual, arrive early to scope out the interview location, then grab a cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop and take the extra time to review your notes or take a few deep breaths. Plan to arrive no earlier than ten minutes before the interview.
“Answer ‘Describe your greatest weakness’ very honestly”
Although it might seem like a question meant to entrap you, employers ask the weakness question to get a sense of your own self-awareness, honesty, and how you approach challenges and problem-solve.
We all have flaws, otherwise there would be no room for growth. The trick is to point out how you have taken steps to remedy the issue and become a better worker.
In the U.S. News article “Ignore This Common—and Awful—Career Advice”, Alison Green writes, “Good interviewers don’t want to talk about weaknesses so they can play ‘gotcha,’ but because they want to make sure they won’t put [you] in a job where you’ll struggle.”
“Be really eager”
There’s nothing wrong with showing interest in an employer or a position, but being overly eager makes you seem either desperate or undiscriminating.
“Even if you are one of the top candidates, ‘send[ing] them a message that you need the job’ is a red flag. It causes the interviewers to question why you are in that situation and to rethink how good of a candidate you may be,” writes Melissa Cooley on the blog The Job Quest.
The interview is designed to be an opportunity for both you and your interviewer to judge if you would be a good fit for the position, and that determination takes time and consideration.
“List lots of things you would change, if hired”
Be cautious when offering unsolicited “advice” in an interview. You would be surprised by how many interviewees think they are being clever when they criticize a company’s website or ad campaign.
It’s one thing to comment on your web creation experience and make general comments about how that experience could be an immediate asset to the company. It’s quite another to make cutting remarks about the company’s current site.
You never know – the hiring manager might have been the one responsible for creating that site!
Feel Underqualified in Too Many Interviews?
The problem may not be your posture or when you show up to the interview. Maybe your resume is a bit too thin. If your skills are out of date, or not-quite-there, going back to school can be easier than you think.
At Academy of Learning College, we help students through our reputable, hands-on training to learn the necessary skills to get work in their chosen fields. Not only will you be more qualified for your chosen career, the ability to list and discuss your education will ensure that you are presenting yourself to your full potential when interviewing.