You’re sitting there listening to your interviewer. Then, it happens. She asks you a question and your mind goes blank. What do you say? What do you do? How do you recover? Everyone’s been there. Not everyone recovers. Here’s how to overcome some of the worst job interview blunders you can make.
Showing Up Late
This almost guarantees that you won’t get the job. If you can’t show up on time for your interview, how can your employer-to-be expect you to show up for work every day? Still, if it happens, own it. If you’re late, then you’re late. Acknowledge it. Apologize for it. If there’s a legitimate reason for your tardiness, then say so. If you just woke up late, say so.
By owning up to it and apologizing (which is especially important), you’re showing self-awareness of your mistake – probably the only good way to recover from this one.
The Ringing Cell Phone
Another common mistake that people make during the interview process has nothing to do with what they say or don’t say. It has to do with what they do (or don’t do). Shut off your cell. Just as you’re telling your interviewer how responsible and polite you are, your phone starts ringing.
And it doesn’t end there. The ringer is the latest hip-hop song that’s played endlessly on the radio. Yikes. Once your phone has become the unwelcomed pest, shut it off. Don’t just hit the “ignore” button. Shut the phone off – as in off-off. Power off so you can’t make or receive phone calls.
To clean up your mistake, apologize to the interviewer and tell him that you thought it was off before you came in and that this never normally happens.
Feeling A Little Too Relaxed
There are two kinds of mouths: the kind you use at home and with your friends and the kind you use at the office. Don’t bring the potty mouth to your interview. Swearing is just as natural as breathing for some people. However, you can’t assume that your interviewer will think this is cute or saucy in a good way.
If cussing is second nature to you, do practice interviews and try to hold your tongue. Learned behaviors are hard to change – especially overnight. So, give yourself some time and practice before you go in for the real deal.
Your Brain Freezes
It happens. You’re asked that all-important question: why do you think you would be a good fit for this company? You freeze. You don’t know what to say. You know you’re an amazing employee, you do your job and then some, and you always show up on time.
A good way to save the interview would be to ask “what would you like to know that would be helpful for you to determine that I’m a qualified candidate?” That will give you more time to think of a good answer and kill the brain freeze.
You Bad-Mouth Your Former Boss
If it’s one thing that tips off interviewers, it’s bad-mouthing old bosses. Doing this makes you look classless and it’s inappropriate. Even if you think the criticism is deserved, your future employer might want to know that you won’t go blasting him at your next interview – if it ever comes to that.
Try to turn your former job into something positive. Talk about what you learned from the bad experience instead of focusing just on the negativity itself.
Louise Hudson has extensive experience with international headhunting. Her articles mainly appear in employment blogs. Visit the Dubizzle Egypt for more details and information.