Interview Advice you Should Think Twice About Before Taking
When you are interviewing for a new position, it seems that everyone has an opinion on how to negotiate, what to wear and how to act; however what can you do to make a great first impression? And what advice should you ignore?
This article debunks the following common interview misconceptions:
“Always wear a suit”
Of course you should look professional and well-dressed; however it’s more important to fit in with the company’s etiquette and office atmosphere than to arrive dressed ready for a formal black tie event in a company that encourages a casual working style. Wearing a suit when everyone at the office is dressed in casual attire gives the impression “I don’t understand your culture.”
We would recommend speaking to the third party recruitment company, or look online to understand the office culture initially, and dress accordingly, wearing a tie perhaps without the jacket. For women this could perhaps be wearing flat shoes instead of heels. Dressing appropriately tells the interviewer that you took the time to research the company and will show that you will fit in with the team.
“Always arrive well in advance of the interview”
While arriving late to a job interview will hurt your chances at landing the position; HR experts agree that arriving too early to the interview can also create the impression that you have too much time on your hands.
If you arrive more than 15 minutes before your arranged interview can upset the days schedule for the HR team and hiring manager, as a candidate you don’t know how many other people they are interviewing for the same position, and an overlap can cause confusion. Instead, ensure you know the buildings whereabouts to arrive early, and wait in the area of the interview, perhaps visit a café until the time of your interview.
There is a huge difference between being keen and looking desperate, make sure to find a good balance to create the right impression. 5-10 minutes early is the perfect time in our opinion.
When asked “what’s your greatest weakness?” always say “I’m a perfectionist”
The classic advice in an interview scenario, when asked about your biggest weakness is to use this opportunity to talk about your strengths. While this may seem like a great way to appear more qualified, it often appears to the trained HR ear, a rehearsed cliché that they have most likely heard many times before.
Instead, the best advice we can give would be to honestly describe a weakness you have, then state how you’re genuinely working to fix it. This way, you are demonstrating your ability to identify a problem and present a solution to the problem. Effective troubleshooting is a common interview area and by doing this you are killing two birds with one stone.
“Never ask about the pay”
If you are called back for a second or final interview, this is a good indication the company is interested in hiring you. Asking about money when not prompted may give the impression you are focused on the wrong thing. However if you do not mention a ballpark salary figure by the end of the second interview could give the impression that you’ll be happy to take any salary offer that is presented. This will allow the situation where they give you a frustratingly low offer, because you never asked “what does this job pay?” Of course you don’t want to put money first, however asking about the salary range for the job sooner rather than later can save you time and effort in applying for a position that is below your experience.