Don’t be unlucky this Friday the 13th with our interview tips!

Around the world, Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day. In trying to decide on how we could provide you with some food for thought, whilst also entertaining you, we fell down a rabbit hole of superstitions and history behind this day filled with “bad luck”.

There was just so much the internet was throwing at us that our research kept taking us in different directions. In the end we decided to take a step back and instead educate you in one area of our expertise, the recruitment process, or more specifically… Job interviews.

Whether you believe in good and bad luck or not, our recruitment consultant team have put together the unlucky 13 things not to do at job interviews. We hope by giving you insight into what we call in the recruitment biz ‘the big no – no’s’ it will bring you the luck or foresight you need, not to make these surprisingly common mistakes and help you get that much closer to your dream role!

1. Being rude to the receptionist
It may seem unrelated but, in many cases, how you present yourself to the receptionist in the office can have a certain level of influence in what the employers think of you. Whilst in some offices, the person sat on the front desk may just be a back-seat person, it is becoming more and more of a need from bosses to have their receptionist work behind the scenes to be their eyes and ears. Having said that, it’s important to take stock of how you are presenting yourself to anyone for the first time. Are you being polite and courteous to everyone you are meeting, or are you treating them like they are beneath you? Remember that in everyday life (but particularly important when you are in an unfamiliar place, where you do not know anyone and are interviewing to potentially work there) you should always be friendly, positive and patient because it shouldn’t matter what level anyone is, everyone deserves respect, plus never know who you are speaking to.

2. Leaving your phone or bag on the interview table
Don’t get us wrong, we are by no mean snobs, but we consider putting bags on the dinner table a terrible faux pas. Not only does it seem quite unhygienic but can also seem quite messy. If you agree with us, then why would you consider placing your bag on the interview table? You’ll be surprised how almost automatic this action can be for some, that added with leaving your phone out is also a big no in good interview etiquette. Just in having your phone out alone, it exposes you to potential interruption mid-interview and can also make it look like you cannot be separated from your phone. As you can imagine this can come across like you will prioritise your social life over productivity. So, do yourself a favour and just get rid of that doubt by keeping your phone on silent, on airplane mode or completely off, in your bag under the table. Out of sight, out of mind!

3. Not taking your coat off at the start of the interview
Taking your coat off not only allows you to feel a little more relaxed but also signifies the start of your interview. Keeping it on leaves this vision that you are planning to get up and leave at any point, as well as showing a lack of social awareness. Take it off, put it behind your chair, you’ll feel more comfortable doing so.

4. Wearing inappropriate clothing
We know at this point you’ve got a smirk on your face, it sounds obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many people forget how to dress for an interview. Whilst here at ABL Recruitment we celebrate your individuality, we must also remind you that for many office-based work environments, there is an expectation to dress professionally, so when getting dressed for your interview, think business meeting, not a night out on the town.

5. Using abbreviations
As a general rule of thumb, you should never use abbreviations for you run the risk of alienating anyone in the room who won’t understand it. If you must use them, make sure the ones you are using are ones that are industry standard, that it is appropriate for the role you’re applying for and the industry you’re going in to. Do not assume just because they are hiring for your role that they will have the specific knowledge of the area you’ll be working in

6. Sounding robotic and unenthusiastic
We know some people have a natural tone to your voice, we’re not asking you to change yourself. But there is a difference between being naturally neutral and sounding bored and uninterested. At interviews you should be showing the best side of yourself, by applying for the role you’ve already expressed interest, now it’s time to show how enthusiastic you are, otherwise interviewers will think you’re not that interested.

7. Getting too comfortable with your interviewer
This is a rookie mistake right here! It is both a blessing and a curse getting an interviewer who you just instantly click with. It can be easy to feel so comfortable that you almost blur the line between being an interviewee and finding a friend. As cutthroat as it sounds, you’re not there to make friends (not yet anyway) you’re there to prove that you have what it takes to succeed in the role and that you will be a good fit for the company. So whilst it’s good to come across friendly, don’t forget your place or that you are competing with lots of other candidates who may or may not have even more in common with that interviewer, what you want to guarantee is that you make the best impression and showcase the best skills that you can.

8. Talking poorly about your current or previous work place
We don’t know if it is the nerves or just lack of self-awareness but there seems to be this idea for some people that to show how loyal they will be a new company, they begin to talk badly about their current or previous work place. Sometimes it might come out without even meaning to, but you need to know there are positive ways of turning any experience and leaving a workplace doesn’t always have to be because of something negative. Show your gratitude for your workplace, even if this new role is something you really want, your potential new employers will appreciate a loyal employee.

9. Not having a good answer for why you’re interested in a role
There are big alarm bells for interviewers when a person can’t answer a simple question about why they are interested in the role. It doesn’t have to be a big dramatic answer with many moving parts, sometimes the simplicity is enough, think about what it is that made you apply for the role in the first place and try to keep it personal to you, is it professional growth, your interest in the company or because of something great you can offer them. Give reasons for your answers.

10. Not doing your homework
Part of preparing for an interview is doing your homework, researching about the company (look at their website), the role (read the job description) and completing any tasks that you have been asked to complete prior to the interview. Get to know the company so you can share what you’ve learned about them. Coming un-prepared for the interview is the fastest way to end your opportunity so just do the leg work, it will pay off.

11. Talking about how the company can benefit you, very early on
I know that interviews should be a two-way thing, you interview them as much as they interview you. But there is something that leaves a bad taste in an interviewer’s mouth when you bring up salary, promotions and benefits so early on in a recruitment process. Save it till you’re at the next stage or when you’re at the negotiation stage, just trust that there is time for all that before you sign a contract.

12. Not asking questions
You should aim to always have at least two questions to ask after an interview, this shows your interest in the company, that the interview has reaffirmed your excitement for the role and also avoids the risk of making you sound like you know EVERYTHING already. You can find typical questions to ask online, use those for inspiration ready and prepared, though you will probably find questions will come to you naturally during the interview.

13. Ask if you got the job
Don’t cringe, this happens. If you’ve considered doing this, don’t. It’s the fastest way to make the interviewer quickly question if you’re right for the role. Trust in the process and wait until they are ready to give you feedback and an outcome. If anything, it also gives you some time to think about how you felt it went and whether the company and role is the right fit for you.

So, there we have it our list of do not dos at your interview. Of course, there are many more that we could have mentioned but we wanted to stick to the 13 theme. Let us know if you have any others you have experienced or even done! The best comment will receive the glory of knowing they made the biggest oopsy at an interview, and someone might learn from your mistake!

Oh, but don’t commiserate about the 13th, remember it’s also FRIYAY. Let’s just celebrate that instead.

And if you’re wondering about the dog in the main image, we thought it was cute, not everything has to have a meaning 🙂

Have a lovely weekend!

ABL Recruitment team