When you’re in the process of applying for jobs, it may feel like securing the interview is the difficult part. While a foot in the door (or a face on the zoom screen) is a step in the right direction, it’s how the interview goes that will really determine whether you get the position or not.
Here are ten W’s it would be worthwhile for all women to avoid in order to make the best impression in your next job interview.
1. “Your company does WHAT?!”
As a woman you are intuitive, and you may rely on the ‘feeling’ or ‘vibe’ you get from an interview in order to make your decision. Intuition and gut feel can’t be discounted but shouldn’t be a replacement for the work that needs to be done before you even get to the interview. If you’ve researched the company and show interest in both the company and the position you’re applying for, it displays initiative and your genuine interest in working there.
2. “WHO could this be?”
It’s an obvious no-no to take calls or have your phone buzzing unnecessarily during an interview, but life happens. If something unplanned interrupts, like an emergency call from the school or a toddler wandering into the room when you’re on a digital interview, don’t panic. Breathe, relax, and see it as an opportunity to impress the interviewers with your crisis management skills. “I’m really sorry about this unforeseen circumstance, could we hit pause and I’ll be right back in a minute?” Better that than scrambling in an on-screen panic. Then mute yourself, turn off your video and deal with the situation at hand so you can return in a professional manner when you are able to re-offer your full attention.
Profanity in the workplace is quite a polarizing topic, some women feel it makes them more relatable, while others see it as a sign of weakness. Regardless of your opinion, there’s no place for slang or swearing in an interview. While it’s important to build a rapport with your interviewer, from the way you dress to the way you talk, it’s best for you to show your respect by keeping things formal even if the interviewer leans towards a more casual approach.
4. “I WANT to work from home.”
Unless the position was advertised as a remote working position, remember working from home is a privilege not a right and should be approached as such. Best not to demand anything in the first interview, and remember while ‘remote’ work is a buzzword right now, there are actually a lot of other options you can negotiate for yourself when it comes to workplace flexibility.
5. “WATCH your back!”
“Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” A common question asked in interviews, but a tricky one to answer. “In five years’ time I see myself doing your job.” Will only alienate and threaten the interviewer, the opposite of what you want to achieve. You may feel that as a woman by default you have more to prove, and while you should definitely make it clear you are ambitious and see yourself excelling within the company, don’t do it at the expense of the interviewer’s current position or job. Leave your ego at the door and talk about the experience you hope to gain at the company and the goals you hope to achieve as you prove yourself worthy of more responsibility over time.
6. “I don’t have any WEAKNESSES”
It’s the question many dread, “Tell me your strengths and weaknesses.” Although it goes against the grain, sharing a weakness doesn’t abate your chances of succeeding in the interview. On the contrary, rather than appearing confident you run the risk of coming off as boastful and or lacking in self-awareness if you claim not to have any weaknesses at all. A better approach is to be honest and share your workplace weakness, perhaps even coupled with how you’re using some of your uniquely female attributes which you are using to overcome it.
7. “My last boss was the WORST!”
Just like you wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, badmouth your ex on a first date with someone new, make sure you don’t talk down your former boss in an interview. No matter how true the things you have to say about them are, your comments will only have the undesired effect of raising unnecessary questions about you in your interviewer’s mind. There should be some positives to find about your former company and boss, and in a situation like this you’re better off focusing on those.
8. “Let’s talk WAGES”
You want to appear assertive, you want the interviewer to know you’re no walk over, but it’s not a great idea to bring up salary expectations too early on. If they are interested, you’ll be invited back and if salary hasn’t been broached already by then, that would be a good time to ask your recruitment manager about the best way to raise the topic.
9 “WAAA, WAAA!”
Interviewers aren’t therapists. If asked about your motivation for wanting the job, don’t take the opportunity to offload about financial woes. Times are tough for a lot of people, and while almost anyone would be sympathetic towards a single mother who’s recently been retrenched, an interview is not the right time or place to unburden yourself. It may cause the interviewer to worry if they’re taking on too much of a load by employing you or if your personal life will have an impact on your job performance.
10. “I’m so WOKE.”
It’s important to let your personality shine through during an interview, but remember the company you’re applying with might be more conservative about certain things than you are. Your beliefs are your own, and you should never feel you have to compromise them in any way, but the company is ultimately looking for a brand ambassador.
Whatever happens, remember interviewing is a skill, and like all skills practice makes perfect. If things don’t go well for you in an interview don’t get discouraged, remind yourself you’re walking away with some great experience which you can implement next time around. Each interview takes you one step closer to landing your dream job.
[This article was supplied by www.RecruitMyMom.co.za]