Job hunting is stressful.
Not only does it require a lot of will power but the ups and downs of going through the motions of either being called or not is overwhelming.
That feeling when you are hoping and praying that you get the call but it’s been days and probably weeks and still there’s radio silence.
Yup, that one.
That nagging feeling if you were ever really considered or your resume is not impressive enough is just the worst, mind shattering experience any job hunter goes through.
It’s both cruel and real.
So, when you get that phone call for an in-person interview, that feeling of bliss is just as overwhelming.
You practice your answers for the interview and even wrote queue cards to help you think fast.
And so, the day comes and you’re in front of your interviewer. You’re nervous but you feel your confidence flowing in.
And then suddenly in the course of your interview, you get the feeling that it’s just not turning out like you planned.
It’s becoming sour and sour by the minute. Don’t get into this tummy churning situation.
The worst part is, you probably don’t know what you did to get to that point.
So, I compiled 5 behaviors that I’ve experienced being both an interviewer and an applicant that instantly turn the interview from bad to worst and how you can avoid it.
Yes, you can avoid it.
1. You bad mouth your previous company
There’s nothing like a bitter ex-employee.
And companies are keen on finding out if their next hire is that kind of employee. If you are this person then this behavior is manifested through your answers.
Being asked about your reason for leaving is a common interview question.
As you practice how to answer this, be mindful of saying how bad your previous company was. How you hated your boss and the job you had blah blah blah...
Even if you actually had a bad experience, DO NOT BADMOUTH YOUR PREVIOUS COMPANY no matter what.
You are no longer connected with them so move on.
Or if you still are, it makes you look extremely unprofessional.
So, zip it.
2. Saying “I’ll do anything."
I understand why people say this.
If you’ve been waiting and waiting for an interview for months and bills are piling up, desperation can definitely be a good motivator to say anything.
Even if deep down, this is not true.
Saying these 3 little words can hurt you more than help your application.
More than sounding desperate, you can’t do anything and everything.
I mean, really? Can you really do “anything?”.
Also, would you do anything for a job just to impress your boss?
What if it means having to throw away your integrity? What about committing fraud to “get the job done”?
Would you do it?
Yup, thought so.
In an interview, you want to sound confident and capable. You also want your future employers to know that you have integrity and that you have standards.
Saying you’ll do anything can mean a lot of things and often, put you in untoward situations after getting hired.
Avoid saying these words at all cost!
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3. When you big yourself and do not provide context
Interview questions usually include describing your previous work and results. When asked about this, make sure to always provide context.
Example, don’t just say you’re a results oriented professional. Show the interviewer how you are results-oriented and more.
Use the STAR method and use it to the T!
The framework will help you provide context on your actions as you build credibility to the hiring manager.
4. When you say “ I don’t have experience.."
Oftentimes, hiring managers will ask about a skill or experience that you have not experienced at all. In these situations, think about a similar task where you exercised the skill they are looking for and use it to answer the question.
Make sure to provide context as well to prove your point.
Saying “I don’t know how to do it” is not a good a thing.
Focus on what you do know and capitalize on that.
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5. Opening your answers with “To be honest”.
When you say these words, it presupposes that you were NOT being honest in some or all your answers prior to this question.
Refrain from saying this phrase.
Start your answers strong, don’t put disclaimers.
Explain your thoughts succinctly.
Be truthful in the whole conversation and avoid these 3 little words.
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6. When you ask “What do you do here?”.
This is a deal breaker.
This shows lack of effort and is downright arrogant. As an applicant, do your own due diligence and research about the company.
Hang out in the company’s website for days and go through each page.
Don’t just show up not knowing anything about the company. Show respect about the work that your future employer does and its accomplishments.
Remember that you are applying for a job in this company.
Make sure you know more than their address.
Job hunting is a lot of work and so when you finally get that interview, make sure that you make the most out of the experience by coming prepared mentally.
This shows your discipline as a professional and speaks well of yourself as a leader.
By avoiding these behaviors, your interview will go smoothly and the chances of you getting a callback is high.
Happy job searching!
About Daisy Casio
Daisy Casio is a Passionate Operations Leader with over 16 years of work experience in various leadership roles. She has run diverse teams in multiple locations and has built teams from the ground up. She is the Founder of ChampLeaders Blog dedicated to transforming leaders to Champions. She writes about leadership, management, productivity, career tips, team engagement and many more.