THE BLOG
04/22/2013 05:42 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2013

How Not to Approach a Job Interview

Most of the time, it's the attitude and manner by which you approach things that determine the likelihood of your success or failure. While you are not on the hot seat yet, it pays to reflect and contemplate on how you should handle one of adult life's crucial moments. Read through this article so that you can be equipped with the knowledge and awareness of how not to approach a job interview.

1) Go to an interview unprepared.

Even executives take time to prepare their reports. So never go to an interview unprepared. Know by heart the company's core business operations, its strengths, and challenges. Conduct a research on sample interviews in your field, familiarize yourself with sample questions, and study your best responses to difficult questions and how to deliver them. Try to listen to yourself using an audio recorder while you are practicing so you can evaluate your answers including the tone of your voice. To improve the flow of your statements, write them down and arrange them properly.

Also, do not forget to prepare a few lines about your main strengths. Avoid stuffing your statements with too many adjectives. Instead, provide concrete details. Say for instance, you are a programmer, make sure you mention the different programs that you have been working on. Which types of statistics have you handled in the past? If you have studied carefully the job description of the position for which you are applying, you should know which particular strengths are relevant. Focus on these and stay attuned with your interviewer's interests.

2) Be hasty.

When you get that call and the company asks you to provide your most convenient time for an interview, think of the most convenient time for you indeed, and do not set the meeting on the first day that comes to your mind. As much as you want to get hired immediately, you need time to prepare especially if you need to travel to get to the meeting place. Many people feel very confident about time without anticipating various factors that can jeopardize a smooth plan. This is a common mistake that you must avoid as you might arrive at the meeting place exhausted and unable to think straight. So as long as the company provides you with the privilege, get a convenient schedule where you can be at your best mindset. If you need to fly to the venue, provide a considerable allowance so that you can get a full rest the night before your interview.

3) Take a subordinate role in the conversation.

You may be a fresh graduate and are way younger than the interviewer, but you have to do your best to engage in the conversation as an equal. In this way, you can be confident enough to answer questions. The interviewer will get the idea that you know how to express your thoughts well and that you are certain with what you can offer. But do not boast either and appear too confident. Confine your responses to the topic at hand. The manner by which you deliver answers can be smart without being too presumptuous.

4) Be too honest about your weaknesses and past failures.

If you are asked about your weaknesses and past failures, they may forgive you for not being too honest especially if there are hideous episodes that should remain untold. There is no need to tell your entire life story. Rather, limit your story telling to the essentials and the lessons that you have learned from your experiences. Make sure that you provide a positive perspective about your weaknesses. In that way, you appear confident that even if you may not overcome it in the near future, you recognize it and are aware of its value.

5) Use inappropriate body language.

Believe it or not, without you uttering a single word, your interviewer already knows whether you are the ideal fit for the job or not. One of the most effective non-verbal communication strategies that is crucial in your success involves your assessment of your own body language. Keep a good rapport and be responsive, avoid interrupting the interviewer, and never forget to turn your phone off during an interview. Avoid slouching or appearing too comfy by leaning back on your seat. Respond with conviction and confidence, but not to the point of being overzealous or arrogant. Smile and nod whenever necessary. Avoid boisterous laughter, and maintain your composure at all times.
Further, it's not only your conduct that matters; your looks do, too, so it is imperative that you dress appropriately. If you are unsure of what to wear, do some diligent research. Take time to visit the company and observe what the employees wear.

6) Provide incorrect information.

Be sure you memorize all the details of your past employment and qualifications. Even if it is already in your resume, you may still be asked about it again during the interview. Giving an incorrect response will not please the interviewer. Inadvertently forgetting critical information about your employment background can give wrong signals about your capacity and credibility.

7) Badmouth past employers.

The interviewer does not need to know that your previous boss is a jerk and that you hated your previous company. You may be telling the truth, but saying so does not give you a good impression. It will not improve your chances of getting the job. Although you wish the world wasn't that small, the company you are aspiring to be a part of may have a connection to your former company. And you certainly do not want to leave a bad reputation as someone who spreads nasty rumors. No company would certainly want to become a victim of the same badmouthing.

If you do not get a positive result, take it as an initial step to finding the right job for you. Use the experience as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and do not stop looking for the next opportunity. You can always do better on your next interview, but make sure you have studied the most common job interview questions if you are serious about getting a new job.