Job interviews can be a pressure cooker situation–and you could easily end up blurting out things that would kill your chances on the spot. It is up to you to be able to effectively speak about–and sell–your proficiencies and job skills but if you need some help to avoid common pitfalls of the interview, here are five big no-no’s to keep in mind.
1. Complaints about your old job, boss, etc.
Sure, they might have asked but the time to air your dirty laundry is perhaps by the water cooler with your new jobmates–not when you’re trying to impress. Aside from the fact that it can make your interviewer think you’d do the same disloyal badmouthing of their company, complaining is also a waste of time talking about other people. You want every minute of an interview to be positively building towards your chances. Try portraying past problems as learning experiences instead–turning it into positive knowledge you can contribute to them.
2. Directly stating your weaknesses
The topic of weaknesses is guaranteed to come up during an interview. No one is perfect and honesty is good, but it would be best to soften the edges of your less than desirable traits. “I tend to get obsessed with solving difficult problems,” is a legitimate weakness–on par with admitting you have tunnel vision. Yet stating it in that matter shows that you are aware of your problem, and you can follow up with how you are making an effort to fix it.
“Adaptable.” “Thinks outside the box.” “Hard worker.” These buzzwords don’t really contribute anything concrete except a sense of cliché about you. If being adaptable is truly one of your strong points, use real scenarios to illustrate the fact–such as that you transferred departments and achieved your new unfamiliar objectives and milestones in a short period of time. Always remember that you are trying to stand out from a sea of a hundred other adaptable people.
4. “I don’t know”
You may actually be stumped by some queries, but don’t limply concede defeat right away. Admitting you don’t know right away leaves you with no time to react to the follow-up question and could quickly snowball into a whole bunch of sorry head shaking. In the worst case scenario, simply ask for a minute to mull things over–at the very least, take the break to craft an intelligent response about why you are not familiar with the question asked!
No one else is there to blow your horn except you. You may be truly indebted to a good team at your previous employ, but there is no need to frame all your achievements as something “we did.” Use the opportunity to highlight how you were an integral part of a well-performing team, or perhaps how you led a cohesive unit. It makes you look good, yet you are also paying just enough credit to others to make it seem non-blowhardy.
Are you an IT graduate or an IT professional? You might just be the perfect fit for our team. Check out our job openings in AIM Corporate Solutions.