Being prepared for an interview is extremely important. Almost everyone has a different opinion on how to interview well. However, whilst there’s plenty of advice out there, it pays to be discerning as to which bits you follow and which bits you don’t.
We scoured the internet for the ‘classic’ interview tips it’s probably best to ignore – and the advice you should always take.
“Wear a suit”
Yes, you want to look smart, but it’s more important to look like you fit in with the culture of the company. If it’s a more casual environment, look presentable and well-put-together, but leave the cufflinks at home, so to speak. We would recommends using a site like Glassdoor to read up on the office culture, and dress slightly smarter than that, but no more.
Sure, you want to look punctual to your potential new employer, but there is such a thing as being too early. Arriving more than fifteen-minutes before your interview time can actually work against you, as it can make you look desperate, and may irritate the hiring manager if they’re working to a tight schedule and have to rearrange things to accommodate your early arrival.
“Tell them about your strengths when they ask about your weaknesses”
Whatever you do, don’t list ‘perfectionism’ as a weakness in an interview, or any other strength such as working too hard, being a workaholic, etc. This question is designed to test your honesty and your ability to learn from your mistakes and improve. Instead of giving a phony answer, tell them about a genuine weakness and then outline how you worked to overcome it.
You shouldn’t completely ignore this advice – you should be authentic about yourself in interviews, but you should also adapt your behaviour appropriately for the situation. Most interviews are formal occasions, after all. You also need to present yourself as the ideal candidate for the job – don’t just turn up and start talking. You need to demonstrate that you’ve thought carefully about why you want the job, highlight your best attributes, and demonstrate situations where you’ve proved yourself.
“Don’t talk about salary”
You should absolutely talk about your salary in an interview. CEO of Human Workplace, Liz Ryan, says: “it is vital to discuss the salary during the second interview at the latest; otherwise, you risk receiving an offer that comes with an extremely low salary, making negotiations much harder at that stage. There is a balance to find between not asking about the salary at all and seeming to be over-focussed on the money.”