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These are seven blunders you absolutely never want to make during a job interview.
Of course you’re nervous at a job interview. But did you know exactly what you’re evaluated on? What you say may not be as important as you expect. Employers are quicker to judge you on verbal signals and the image you put out. So when you go to a job interview, you need to avoid the following blunders at any cost.
1. Wearing inappropriate clothing
Don’t dress up with seductive cleavage or in jeans with a T-shirt. Don’t use sultry perfumes and make sure you don’t overdo it with your make-up. It’s better to be overdressed than too casual. Make sure you smell fresh and look well-groomed.
2. Poor body language
Leaning backwards on your chair, crossing your arms, fidgeting or gesticulating too much… It makes you seem arrogant, insecure or immature. It’s best to practise your posture and body language in front of the mirror, or to film yourself. Stand up straight and relaxed, with your arms comfortably by your sides. Sit up straight with your feet next to each other on the ground and lean forward slightly to show your interest. The golden rule to determining your posture? Mirror that of the person you’re speaking to – without exaggerating.
3. Showing a lack of enthusiasm
Do you only answer when you’re obliged, or with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’? Because you won’t come across as enthusiastic. And why would your potential employer take you on board? Show that you really want the job: ask intelligent questions, give enthusiastic answers.
4. Bad-mouthing your former employer
Never let yourself be negative about your former employer or colleagues. It shows a complete lack of professionalism. And it gives the impression that you could do the same to the company where you’re currently applying. Do you need to explain a negative experience? Stay objective and limit yourself to the facts. Steer the conversation towards what you are looking for in a job and emphasise what you’re good at.
5. Talking too much, saying too little
Prepare your interview thoroughly. When the recruiter asks a question, think about it for a moment, and give an answer that is clear and to-the-point. Don’t get lost in a stream of words, but don’t avoid answering either. Be careful that your answers aren’t too short. Your employer expects a candidate who will actively think, who is intelligent and creative.
6. Avoiding eye contact
Employers won’t be quick to take on a candidate who makes little or no eye contact. Make sure you look at the person you’re speaking to – at least 60 per cent of the interview time. This shows your interest and that you’re focused.
7. Show a lack of respect
And last but not least: arrive on time, or better yet, a little early. Add an extra half-hour to your travel time to accommodate a busy travel route or obstacles on the way. And if you’re still looking at a delay? Let your interviewer know as soon as possible. Never look at your watch or mobile phone during your job interview. Make sure you can take your time: plan your day so that the interview can run over if need be. And don’t forget to learn the name of your contact person and check you can pronounce it correctly – even at the reception desk.
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