Job interview – what NOT to do

Last Updated on: March 5, 2015

One time or another we’ve all been there (OK so almost all then), in a job interview, a project interview, applied for a position or role, perhaps a little excited or better/worse, over-excited, nervous, exalted and/or over-exalted.

You might have spent the previous morning, day, evening and even night (with little sleep) pondering over what might happen, how things will go, trying to prepare yourself for possible questions, maybe rehearse approaches, in short, possibly spending a whole lot of time … in vain.

What can go wrong ….

might, go wrong. So due to aforementioned reasons, you wake up that important morning/day, tired, uncertain, worried, all while your head and (those functioning) brain cells takes you out on a meaningless spin.

A good recipe for (instant) panic attack? Could be, we’re all different but some might, given such circumstances, head there.

The degree of success with what lies ahead may be destroyed by over-compensating potential lack of energy with caffeine, gulping down a few mugs too many. So at the time when you arrive for the interview, your mind, still worried, concerned, kicks into hyper mode, and you perform the grandest verbal overkill ever.

Too much coffee might lead to otherwise well functioning social antennas and receivers to remain more or less switched off. And the inner voice, the gut feeling, if such exists, urging you to calm down, talk less, listen more, pay attention, is overridden completely. Ack….

It may help equally little, while antennas along with social intelligence remains in off-mode, you’re being asked to talk or tell about yourself, and you (completely) fail to set a (limited) time for yourself. This surely is, or rather can be, a part of the interview that quickly morphs into a disaster. Most people when asking this question,  don’t’ mean for you to unfold your complete life’s story, or with turbo-mouth speed blurt out everything you’ve accomplished from cradle to.. yes precisely, the interview.

Therefore, a few reminders

So, what advice would I give …. well, if you’re a talker, don’t drink more than one (modest) cup of coffee before heading into the interview. But the best might actually be to drop coffee that day, at least in the morning, switch to tea, preferably herb tea. Chamomille has excellent properties in this respect, and works well for the most of us.

Even if you’re dead tired, the caffeine quite likely won’t do you any good, in fact it can indirectly cause irreparable damage to the vital first impression. From then on you’ll have a tough time winding yourself down. If you’re not a talker, the above still applies, for what doesn’t come out in a natural pace, speed or sound volume, certainly won’t be aided by too much coffee.

When asked to tell or talk about yourself condense this part down into 2-3 minutes maximum, give a brief resume in a balanced, relevant way. If asked, talk (a little) more. Don’t take over the show completely, even if it might seem you get an open invitation to do so.

Alright, if shit happened well, there’s always a next time, that one train you tried to catch isn’t the only one passing through your life’s station, others will arrive, it does for all of us. But as you find yourself there, down at the/your station, waiting for the next train, the next opportunity, it is sensible to reflect on and make use of recent experiences.