There are very few people who relish the prospect of interviews. They are such a fine balance between selling yourself so that you tick all the job description boxes and trying to come across as normal person who others would like to work with.
With so many things to consider- how formal should you dress, how enthusiastic is too enthusiastic, should you make jokes – they can be a minefield of social awkwardness.
As an interviewer, I’ve had some shockers of answers to very standard questions. They were unstrategic in the extreme! Granted it’s hard to give all the right answers but there are some things that should never be said. Examples include:
Did you take a half day from your job for this interview?
Nah, I just called in sick
Why did you apply for this role? (These were given as stand-alone answers)
The location is really handy
There is too much work to do in my current role
I’ve always wanted to work here. It’s just this feeling I can’t explain
I’m looking for a more relaxed atmosphere
What do you think of our product/service?
It’s not as bad as I was expecting
What preparation did you do for this interview?
None. I’ve been doing so many interviews lately that I haven’t have time to prepare. I am really passionate about this job though
What appeals to you about the role?
(Takes out a copy of the job spec and proceeds to read out the job description word for word)
You say you’re a very creative person. Can you give some examples of when you have been creative?
Hmm, it’s hard to think of any on the spot
What are some of your strengths and development points? (Candidate is applying for a content writing role)
I guess a development point would be learning how to write content
What type of person would you find difficult to work with?
Probably someone like myself
So take comfort in the fact that while interviews may fill you with dread, if you steer clear of these types of answers you’re already winning!