Everyone seems to have something to say once they learn that you have a job interview coming up. But not all advice is good advice. In fact, there are some tips you’d be wise to ignore entirely.
1. “Don’t over-prepare for a job interview.”
Spontaneity has its place, but to make your job interview a success, you need to prepare — and prepare some more. You’ll feel more confident if you do your homework, and reduce the risk of making a bad impression. Also, it’s a good idea to show that you know a little something about the company (what they do and how they do it) in order to demonstrate your interest.
2. “You can lie about your experience. Everyone does it.”
Anyone who advises you to lie during a job interview does not have your best interests at heart. It’s perhaps the worst, and the most incorrect, piece of advice out there. You should never lie at any point during the job search process. It’s quite likely that your lie will come back to get you at some point during your career. And, having it on your mind will surely haunt you in the meantime, too.
The worst job interview advice? 'It's OK to lie. Everyone does it!' (It's not. They don't.)
3. “You don’t need to dress up.”
It’s true that office dress codes are a bit more casual than they used to be, but that isn’t true across the board. Also, even though you might not need to dress quite so formally on a normal day, you should still dress up for an interview. You’re likely to make a better first impression than you would if you dressed more casually. Being a little more formal than usual shows you are taking the opportunity seriously. And, it demonstrates respect for the people who are taking the time to meet with you.
4. “Follow your gut. Your instincts will tell you whether or not the job is the right fit for you.”
There’s certainly something to be said for listening to your inner voice, but that method probably shouldn’t be applied exclusively. Whether or not to accept a new job is an important decision. And, you should definitely keep your brain turned on throughout the search process, including during the interview.
5. “Once the interview is over, you can just relax. There’s nothing you can do. The ball is in their court.”
It’s tempting to celebrate moving an interview into the rear-view mirror, but your work isn’t done when the conversation stops. It’s often a good idea to follow up after an interview with an email and/or thank-you note to the individuals who met with you. Little gestures like this communicate volumes about your professionalism and your eagerness. You also might want to take a little time to reflect on the interview. It will help you determine whether or not the job is the right fit for you. You might even learn something from the process that you can apply in the future.
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