There is enough literature on what you should do at an interview. But here’s a list of things that you would definitely not want to do at an interview, unless you don’t want that job or that B-school admit that you have so wanted.
Never Go Unprepared
Yes sir, I hear you. You know it all. You even counted the number of steps on that staircase to the interview room. But you know that funny thing called odds. It’s always a damp squib. You might want to do a bit of preparation. If you have stated, Accountancy as your best subject on your CV, you’d better be darned well at it. Learn every rule in every accounting principle, by rote. And while you’re at it, it probably isn’t a bad idea to memorize the number of pages in the Accounting Standards Book. Some interviewers ask for weakness. What a silly thing to ask, like your weakness would be of any help anyway. But you can’t argue with their logic. So turn around any weakness on its head and make it your strength. If you’re a weirdo, say you are quite innovative. If you’re a lazy goose and leave things to last minute, say you work well with short deadlines. If you have had a not so great time at grad school, tell them you believe in holistic education and were active at extra-curriculars (of-course you need to back it up). Now if you think you’re perfect, make up a not so debilitating weakness like unbridled appetite or chewing nails…
Avoid Over Zealous Dressing
‘Green is the new blue’. Nice tagline, no? Did you buy that green shirt already? Tsk, tsk, consumerism. Take my advice and save it for your best friend’s wedding. Yes, I know you bought it for this special occasion, your first interview. Classic white is out, I know. But how about sticking to other safe colors like blue or maybe gray. So what if its boring? At least you won’t look like a radioactive leprechaun. Funny ties. Haha! That’s a good attention grabber my friend. Focus, focus. . . We are here to grab that job… the pink piggies on that yellow tie may prove more an unhealthy distraction than attraction. Oh, I love that crocodile handbag of yours. Lets hide your entire disregard for the ecosystem, in the closet. You can flaunt it in that cocktail party, this weekend.
Never Underestimate Traffic Jams
The venue is only a block away and 15 minutes is all you need to get there. Have you heard of a certain someone called Mr. Murphy? No? I’ll tell you that story later. But he devised some fine laws. One of them says on the day of your interview, every single car will be neatly lined in a jam from your gate till the venue and every signal will chose to turn red the moment you turn the key in the ignition. So leave home at least one hour in advance. Okay, so now you have reached too early. What are books for, silly?
Do Not Fake Accent
Does your guy love the way you roll your ‘R’s? Have people told you how close you come to sounding Oxford educated? Good for you, mate. But its hard to keep that up all the time, no? See, now that’s the thing with fake accents. They have a habit of coming undone in the most inappropriate of moments. And chances are it will happen at the interview too. Take my word; the interviewer WILL NOT be impressed. So let your natural accent do the talking this time, eh?
Do Not Invoke Skeletons in the Closet
Everyone has them. I have a closet bursting at its hinges and a new one on its way. No need to be ashamed. But an interview is not the place to unleash them. If you got sacked from your last job, this is not the best place to tell them your sob story. NO, I did NOT ask you to lie about it. All I am saying is, don’t go about telling them what a @$# %@ your old boss was or bad mouth your colleagues. Chances are they just might call him up to confirm your little story. So be honest. But leave out the details. In this one exceptional case, the devil is in the details.
Never Lose Your Cool
Surely you have heard of ‘stress interviews’. The ultimate aim of every soul in that room will be to make you scream and run for life, tearing out your hair. So never lose that thing called cool. It’s a slick one, Mr. Cool. Once he’s gone, you might chew those manicured nails, twiddle your fingers or tear at that loose thread on your skirt (imagine all of it coming undone. Very Grim, yes). So pick up that Mr. Cool from under the table and be the pro that you are… By the way, no matter what you do, do not gnash teeth. You might never get it in shape for the next interview, should you lose out on this one.
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