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Six things that will definitely spook an interviewer

Published: Friday 30th October 2015

Halloween pumpkin with Zoek carved in

It’s Halloween, the time of the year to celebrate all things scary. But there’s no reason why interviewing for a new job should spook anyone. Here are Zoek’s six top tips for avoiding a truly frightful interview.

Don’t be late – It may sound simple, but allowing plenty of time to get there is the first rule of good interviewing. Researching the location and route, setting off early and expecting delays are all good practice. You might even try a trial journey before the day. It’s far better to arrive at an interview with an hour to spare than to turn up sweaty and dishevelled because the train was cancelled. If, however, you are running late be sure to call to warn the company in plenty of time. Tell them why you are late and ask if they would like to rearrange. Don’t make up stories about a pile-up on the motorway – this could be checked. Which leads us on to our next tip…

Don’t lie. About anything! – And that includes examination results, experience, previous responsibilities and even pastimes. Most interviewers can spot a fib a mile off and will press you until you trip yourself up. Even if it’s not picked up during the interview process or when references are checked, you’ll most likely be found out as soon as you start spending eight hours a day with these people!

Don’t badmouth your boss – You may practically have grounds for a constructive dismissal claim against a current manager but, however you go about it, it will come across as sour grapes to an interviewer and will cast a shadow over your interview. You may leave the impression that you are the problem. Unfair maybe, but play safe and stay mum about your ‘horrible bosses’.

Don’t complain – Whether it’s about the long hours you’ve been expected to work, the unpaid overtime or the poor wages, complaining about anything to do with your current job will reflect badly on you and make you look like you’re anything but a team player. When you are asked why you are leaving your job talk about how you are keen to embrace all the new opportunities the role you are interviewing for would offer.

Don’t be cocky – Confidence, enthusiasm and explaining why you are the best person for the role is great, but be careful you don’t overstep the mark and descend into cockiness. Bigging yourself up is all well and good for a candidate on The Apprentice but in real life a little humility goes a long way.

Do your research – You know it’s going to come, so do prepare for the point when you are asked what you know about the company and role. Not being prepared comes across as disengaged at best. Put yourself in the position of the interviewer. What would you like to hear from interviewees?

Zoek is the smart job-searching app that can connect candidates with recruiters at the click of a button. It can be downloaded on iOS or Android. For more job hunting tips visit the Zoek blog or follow us on Twitter @Zoekappuk.

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