For many teenagers, the mere anticipation of coming face to face with a future employer can be terrifying. This feeling is completely normal, as it is all too easy for one faux pas to lead to disaster: making an innocent joke could outrage your employee, having messy hair could give off the impression that you are disorganized and arriving late could suggest that you are irresponsible. To relieve some of the stress, we have compiled a list of important job interview don’ts – a vital resource for any anxious job interviewee!
While humour can be an asset in some situations, it is best to tread carefully, especially with jokes involving ethnical groups, sexual references and comments about the interviewer’s mother – duh!
Asking questions unrelated to the career or company you are applying for is a no-no. Do not, for example, ask a question like this infamous Internet anecdotal one: “Will the company move my rock collection from California to Maryland?”
During an interview, it is crucial to demonstrate your ability to focus. In this case, multi-tasking, such as texting a friend while half-listening to the interviewer, is unfavourable, to say the least.
Although it is important to give a thoughtful response to a question, pausing to think about the answer for too long may create an awkward silence – and concern on your interviewer’s behalf. If you have been silently staring at the interviewer for more than a minute, they may wonder if you have gone into a coma.
No matter how excited you may be, always wait until the interviewer has finished their sentence. Interrupting them gives off the impression of childish impatience. After all, it is frustrating to be stopped just as you’re trying to say…
Show your strengths, but don’t oversell yourself. Cut down on the superlatives: “I’m experienced with computers,” is more modest than “I’m the best computer technician there is!” And never assume that you will automatically get the job. A terrible question to ask is, “So, when do I start?”
You may have hated your former boss with a passion, but describing every horrible aspect of him – from the giant mole on his face to his Hello Kitty collectibles – will make your interviewer think that you might treat them the same way once you leave the position.
You must do research on the company before your interview. Lack of preparation may lead to extremely embarrassing situations (“This is a dairy product company? Guess I shouldn’t have mentioned my hatred for milk.”)
However comfortable they may be, your sparkly pink Uggs and orange fedora are not appropriate for a job interview. In general, clothing that is excessively colourful, sparkly or low-cut is an absolute no-no – remember: less is more. (Well, expect for fabric – make sure you’re covered up!)
As tempted as you might be to ask your interviewer about their spouse, children, address, telephone number and eating habits, don’t. Your interviewer will most likely misinterpret your eager interest as a sign of obsessive-compulsive stalking syndrome.
An interview is definitely the time to mention some of those superb work qualities and skills you possess. However, personal details, such as eating habits, aren’t worth bringing up in a job interview.
At an important meeting like this, it can be all too easy to forget common courtesies. Show off your good manners by saying please and thank you, and it may just be the key to a new job (after all, they are called magic words for a reason!).
Not to say, of course, that an interview should be taken lightly. However, meetings tend to go more smoothly if you approach it with a cheerful attitude. To quote Phyllis Diller, a smile is a curve that sets everything straight!
Good luck on your job hunt this summer!