4 ways to avoid a bad job interview

For some people, a job interview can be an extremely intimidating and stressful undertaking.

Thu, June 20th, 13:14


Trying to answer questions about your career and past experiences while also selling yourself in a professional manner can be a major challenge.

The following is a list of four tips to prevent a bad job interview:

Be Prepared: This is an essential ingredient to interview success, from planning your answers to the most frequently asked questions, conducting research into the company and carefully perfecting your interview technique.

An employer expects interviewees to be nervous during an interview; however, these nerves should not be debilitating to such a degree that they cause them to forget everything they have prepared to say. Get control of your interview anxiety through meticulous practice. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to act as the interviewer in a mock interview scenario. These practice sessions are a lot like dress rehearsals for the real thing, they will allow you to perfect your responses, body language and mannerisms.

Know your CV: There are a number of common interview questions you can prepare for such as, “Talk me through your CV”. If you find yourself going blank recalling the most important points on your CV you’re headed for trouble. Ensure that you have fully committed your employment history to memory so that you can respond to any queries the interviewer may have. You must be able to recall key duties and responsibilities from your previous employment and also memorise several key examples of challenges you faced and how you dealt with them.

Make sure your phone is silent: This may seem like an obvious suggestion but given the nerves and anxiety many jobseekers experience prior to an interview, it’s all too easy to forget to switch off the mobile. Having your phone ring, beep with a notification, chime with a text or even just vibrate is not going to set a tone of professionalism with the interviewer. This is a careless and simple mistake that will be perceived as unprofessional and even rude.

Ask the right questions: In the final stage of the interview process, the interviewer may invite you to ask them any questions you may have. Asking the wrong kinds of questions such as salary expectations and benefits will certainly come across as self-serving. Likewise, if you ask them about annual leave days, they may infer that you are already planning on taking time out from the office. On the other hand, if you fail to ask any questions at all, they may think that you lack interest in the company or an insightful nature.

Examples of the kinds of questions you should ask are as follows:

1.    How would you describe the culture of the company?

2.    How does the position fit into the larger long-term goals of the business?

3.    How will my overall performance be measured?

Peter Cosgrove

The Irish Times