The Wage Shop

If you’ve been following our tips on CV Tips and CV Don’ts and our Interview tips, then read on for the latest instalment of our current series. This week, we’re looking at what not to do in interviews to make sure you land that dream role. There’s lots of help and guidance out there, so we’ve compiled our best tips to help you succeed.

1) Don’t turn up late.

You will look disorganised and disrespectful. The interviewer probably has a few people to interview that day and no doubt has the day planned out to fit everyone in. Showing up late makes a very poor first impression – your interviewer will think you can’t plan ahead. If you are travelling a distance for your interview, remember to leave plenty of time for rush hour traffic, especially if your journey involves motorway travel. If you’re travelling a good distance for the interview, you could look into staying in a budget hotel somewhere closer to the interview. That way, you won’t have the early start and long journey ahead. If you only have a short distance to travel, make sure you leave plenty of time. You can always get a coffee in a local coffee shop if you arrive too early.

2) Don’t swear or use slang in your interview.

Your interviewer isn’t your mate and they certainly don’t want to hear your list of curse words. Even if they swear, you need to keep it clean. Remember you need to project a professional image, especially where the role will be customer facing. You may swear like a trooper any other time, but try and keep it under control for the hour. Same for slang. Keep it professional. Your interviewer may just come out thinking you’re an idiot that can’t string a sentence together – not good when you need to deal with colleagues and customers.

3) Don’t be over confident.

We warned about being too nervous in the last article, but being too confident can also have a negative effect. Walking in to the interview with the attitude that they owe you something will only annoy the interviewer. The position may report to these people, so they won’t hire you if you come across as having an attitude that you know better than they do.

4) Don’t complain about your current or previous jobs.

You will inevitably be asked the question why you are looking to leave your current employer. Telling them your current boss is an idiot who doesn’t listen to you won’t go down well. You may well have completely valid reasons for leaving your current role. Your boss may be an idiot that is running the place into the ground, but your prospective new employers don’t want to hear it. Your interviewer has just met you, they don’t know if you are part of the problem, so you just end up coming off as a negative person and that person won’t get the job. Basically, no one likes a complainer, so don’t do it! If you think you might be asked about why you’re leaving, have something prepared. Maybe your current role isn’t challenging enough for you. Maybe the promotion prospects are poor. Whatever the reason, try and find a positive reason for your move.

5) Don’t lie.

This was on the previous CV tips article too. It’s not a good idea. Interviewers tend to make notes as you are talking, so if you lie about having experience with a particular piece of software or have a qualification that you don’t, there’s always a very good chance this will come back to bite you. Although that specific lie may not be integral to your role, lying during the recruitment process can be classed as gross misconduct if you’re found out, even years down the line. It’s not worth it. If you don’t know about the software, that’s fine. Say so, but why not suggest you take a short course outside of work hours to learn the basics? This shows you know your limitations, but are willing to put some work in to overcome them.

6) Don’t forget to do your research.

We added this in the first Interview Tips article, but it’s so important we thought we’d state it here too. If you go into the interview without knowing what the company is about, then forget it, you won’t get the job. Most people will ask what you know about the company, and they would expect you to have something to say here. It’s also important to do your research on the company so you don’t ask basic questions that you should know the answer to. For example, if their website clearly shows their product listing, there’s no point asking them about the range at the interview. If you can look it up beforehand, you shouldn’t be asking on the day. You will come across as unprepared and the interviewer will think the job isn’t important to you.

7) Don’t take credit for team efforts.

This is especially important where you are in a managerial position. Taking credit for a team effort shows you aren’t a team player. Highlight your contribution to the outcome, any ideas you had input on and sometimes it can be good to highlight that you had ideas the team didn’t use. This shows you see the outcome as more important than your own voice and will show the interviewer you don’t have an ego that needs to take credit for the effort of others.

8) Don’t ask about sick days or holidays in the interview.

You’re not even working there yet but are planning how many days you don’t have to be there. Most places will cover these basics in the original recruitment paperwork, so you either look like you’ve not read it properly or you look like you’ll always be looking for your next break. It doesn’t make you look like a hard worker, and it might make the interviewer think you’re not really interested in the role.

9) Don’t ask what the role involves.

Again, this will have been covered in the recruitment paperwork. You should have a good idea of what the role entails, and asking such a basic question really won’t be a good way to get into the interviewers good books. However, asking more probing questions about the job role shows you have read the paperwork and are looking for more detail on certain points. The company may use an in-house database – you could ask them how long it’s been used, who maintains it and how long it usually takes people to learn it. This shows you have thought about the role and how you will fit into the team.

10) Don’t make assumptions about the people you have met in the company.

For example, don’t ask your interviewer if they have grand-kids! They may look old enough, but it doesn’t show good judgement or proper etiquette on your part. If the interviewer thinks you have poor judgement, they are going to question how you will get on with other team members and question whether you’re the right person for the job. It’s also not professional. This is you last chance to project your best image, don’t blow it by making assumptions about people and potentially upsetting someone!

Job hunting is hard, so follow our tips and make the best of every opportunity to project the best image of yourself. Don’t forget once you’ve landed that role, The Wage Shop are on hand to make sure you’re paid correctly, on time and manage all your tax and national insurance requirements. So you can focus on working hard and getting settled into that new role.

We also offer a Payment Advance service so you can access your money when you need it so you can be ready for the first day. Whether that means a new suit or coffees to soften up the new colleagues, we’re here to help.

Head over to the website for more details, or Contact Us to register.