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5 Things To Avoid During A Job Interview

By Somdutta Mazumder

Updated - May 1, 2020 4 min read

At this point, the only statement we can make with some certainty is that things might get worse before they get better. The pandemic currently sweeping across the world has caused disruption in practically every sphere of human activity. But one that's been dreaded and discussed the most, is the effect on the economy. Recent evidence substantiates that the recession we'd been expecting since the news first broke, has already arrived. And it has been described by the International Monetary Fund as the worst recession encountered by the modern world, since the Great Depression of the 1930s. 



As you can imagine, everybody on the planet is currently uncertain about the future. People who've had their careers planned for several decades are suddenly at a loss of what to expect. Many with stable jobs have officially lost them, and several others are living in constant fear of getting laid off. Please don't get us wrong, all this isn't to scare you. That's, in fact, the opposite of what we are striving for. 


Feeling anxious about unforeseen job loss during a pandemic might be inevitable to a certain degree, but it certainly isn't the most helpful strategy. What we'd like for you to do instead, is to be prepared in advance and think of contingency plans. Since applying for a new job is a possibility you may have to consider some time in the future, it's better to start getting ready for the situation, from this very moment on. Getting a job requires you to ace an interview, and that's what we are here to help with. If you already are or are planning to apply for employment in the coming times, here are 5 job interview mistakes you must avoid. 


Image Courtesy - Freepik


1. Unpolished Appearance

As you must have heard time and again since the day you were born, the first impression is the last impression. Even if you have a great personality, and are a right fit for the job, a shabby appearance and unclean look can make a prospective employer doubtful about whether you should be hired. Turning up in wrinkled, stained, baggy or inappropriate clothes can also give out the sign that you don't care enough about the interview to put an effort. The idea is to look well-dressed along with being appropriately dressed. By appropriate we mean don't show up to an interview at a corporate law firm in a startup casual ensemble. 


2. Unpreparedness

Most employers won't expect you to quote direct company figures and statistics, unless that's an essential requirement for the role you're applying for. However, certain basic questions about the company you want to work for, will definitely be asked. If you're applying for a technical role, they will also likely judge your technical skills. Whatever the nature of your interview might be, it's important to think of possible questions and prepare in advance. Read up on the firm you're applying at, do some research about recent related headlines, and other important things you might be questioned on at the time of the interview. 


3. Beating Around The Bush 

Most job interviewers prefer candidates who give direct answers, and are quick to shut down those clearly evading the question at hand. If they've asked a specific question, try to give a specific answer as far as possible. The interviewer really doesn't need to know every single thing about you, so only give out facts that are absolutely essential. Prepare a crisp "tell me about yourself" answer, and try to address questions with brevity, logic and concise communication. If you're confronted with a question you have no clue how to answer, you can either chose to tell your interviewers that and request a different question, or request for some time to think about it. 



4. Badmouthing Your Previous Employer

First off, badmouthing your previous boss or organisation, is likely to make the person interviewing you assume that this behaviour is characteristic of you. Simply put, if you talk poorly of your previous organisation, you're likely to do the same with the current organisation once you leave. You can see why that might negatively affect your interview evaluation. Also, if you are in a specific field, the world is truly a small place. The person you're interviewing in front of, might have a professional connection with someone you've worked for in the past, and are currently openly badmouthing. Yeah, that's a possibility best avoided. 


5. Not Being Mindful Of Body Language 

As you might have read in a number of self-help magazines, your body language talks when your mouth doesn't. Things like not smiling at all, offering a weak and limp handshake, slouching on the interview table, and averting eye contact can end up negatively impacting your interview evaluation, even if your answers weren't half bad. Poor body language may lead your employers to think of you as under-confident, shy or worse yet, simply uninterested. So be sure to indicate enthusiasm and warmth during your interview by offering a polite smile, maintaining eye contact and projecting confidence, even if you're faking it. 

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