I’ve gotten a lot of emails, Modern Philosophers, asking me why I haven’t written any advice posts lately. I’m a sucker for caving to peer pressure, so here’s a new post in which I share some pearls of wisdom.
5 Things You Should Never Do At A Job Interview
Never lie about your credentials or work history. You should always tell the truth. Why would you want anyone’s first impression of you to be that you are a liar who can’t be trusted? Any employer worth its salt is going to check your references, and will quickly discover if you have strayed from the truth.
And why would you want to pretend to have skills you don’t? Sure, the right lies might get you in the door, but it will quickly become apparent that you don’t know what you’re doing. This will lead to your getting fired. Why would you want that blemish on your work history? You’ll only have to lie about it at the next interview.
Be honest and upfront. Paint a proper picture of yourself. Employers will not only appreciate your honesty, but you could also make an impression by admitting you don’t have a certain skill, but are intent on learning and mastering it.
Never undersell yourself. While it might not be good to boast in an interview, it is definitely wrong to sell yourself short. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. After all, you are your own publicist in an interview. A potential employer needs to know everything you have to offer, so why would you not give them every bit of information that could convince them that you are exactly the person they need?
Think of it as an argument you absolutely have to win. Why wouldn’t you pull out every tool available to you to make your case? Be your own cheerleader, without sounding conceited or obnoxious. Don’t ever leave an interview kicking yourself for forgetting to share that one piece of information that would have made you look like the best candidate for the job.
Never order takeout to be delivered to the interview. This is a HUGE mistake that far too many job seekers are making in this day of internet delivery. If you want something to eat, take care of that meal before you go into the interview.
Why is this a mistake? What if the delivery person totally embarrasses you by being dressed inappropriately, or by saying the wrong thing? What if your interviewer notices you are a horrible tipper? Or even worse, too generous of a tipper? This might lead him to believe you are rich and either don’t really need the job, or shouldn’t be offered a high salary.
What if you order something the interviewer is allergic to? What if they forget to include plasticware and you need to ask the interviewer to grab you a knife and fork from the break room? Will you then be tempted to go through his desk and computer when you are left alone in the office?
What if you spill something on your outfit? You’ll look ridiculous for the remainder of the interview. What if the interviewer asks you to share? You know you hate it when people bum food off you, and this will only set the precedent that it’s okay to ask. Every day at that company, this person will seek you out at lunch and ask for some of your food.
Never tear off your outfit like it is an NBA warm up suit and do thirty minutes of yoga. You’ll never know if you got hired because you were the right person for the job, or because your interviewer was impressed with your yoga poses. That will eat away at you every day when you go to work, and then keep you awake at night.
What if your interviewer wants to join you? What if your interviewer decides you’re his new yoga buddy, and you have to go to the yoga studio with him three nights a week after work, and then once on the weekend?
And we all know those tear away outfits are nearly impossible to put back on. There are way too many snaps, and who can ever line them up correctly under the scrutiny of another set of eyes in the room?
Worst of all, what if the workout leaves you so sweaty that you absolutely need to take a shower immediately?
Never take a shower during an interview. Not only is this totally unprofessional, it is also the stupid move. Everyone knows you take a bath during an interview.
A bath allows you the maintain eye contact, hide your naughty bits, and play with the bubbles in case you get bored with all the questions.
A shower requires a shower curtain, and what if you bring one that totally clashes with the interior design of the space in which you’re being interviewed?
Showers are a hard no. Winners always go with a bath.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Now go out and get that job!