It’s not always easy to pay for your rent, utility bills, groceries, and any other expense life throws at you when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. While there are things you can do to help you save money on a tight budget and ways to help you manage your finances, eventually you’ll want to give yourself some more financial breathing room without slicing up your budget. The most obvious solution is to start looking for a new job! But even if you do manage to land a job interview, you’ll want to do everything you can to put your best foot forward. Not only will you have to make sure you prepare as well as possible, you’ll have to understand what not to do at your next job interview. Here are five tips to get you started.
When you’re in a job interview, there’s no escaping that room without going over the relevant details of your past. This usually includes your past education, your past job experience, and how you feel about your former or current employer. But you shouldn’t use this as an opportunity to start bad-mouthing your boss or the company you’re working for.
Excessively criticizing your past employer does nothing but show off your bad attitude. You might just be trying to show you’re ready to take the next step in your career, but this isn’t the way to go about it. This won’t improve your standing with a prospective employer, and it’s just generally unprofessional.
If you do manage to get hired and things go sour, would your employer really want you to let loose on their organization? They expect you to speak well of them, and by speaking poorly of your former employers, all you’re doing is showing that you could do the same to them.
As well-prepared as you may be for any job interview questions that come your way, things may fall flat if you don’t have any job interview questions to ask in turn. Having a few questions ready is just a part of the process, so it’s best to be prepared. The idea is to show the interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in understanding the role, the workplace, and your potential employer. After all, this is where you’re going to be spending the majority of your time, so this is information that you should want to know in the first place.
When you get the opportunity to ask the interviewer questions, it’s best not to make them up on the spot. If you’re asking about things that could’ve been answered by a quick search in advance of the interview, this might show that you didn’t take the time to properly prepare.
Get a few questions ready in advance that couldn’t be answered in your research of the employer and try to come up with things that you’re genuinely interested in knowing. This will show a genuine sense of engagement in the process. There are some general guidelines to follow when you’re coming up with job interview questions to ask, but try to personalize them as much as possible.
Also, it’s important to remember that the interview process doesn’t necessarily end when you leave the building. If you think of some questions you didn’t get to ask in the interview, don’t be afraid to follow up with an email. This will give you another opportunity to show your interest and connect with the interviewer.
As much as an interviewer wants to see that you have the necessary work experience to fill the role, they also want to see that you have a genuine interest in what you’re talking about. You may check all the right boxes when it comes to the necessary hard skills, but your job interview could fall flat if you aren’t able to show how passionate you are about the role.
Start by telling them why you want to work for their company. Do you consume their products on a regular basis? Have you spoken to someone who works there who loves the atmosphere? Do you have any personal connection to them or their products? Anything that gets you excited about working there is worth sharing.
Being able to show your passion and convincingly express why you want to work with this company can be a huge bonus, especially if you don’t necessarily have all of the exact qualifications they’re looking for. Skills are teachable, but finding people who are motivated and engaged in their work can be harder to come by. It’s your job to show that you’re one of those people.
There should never be a question as to whether you should follow up with a company after a job interview. The answer is always a resounding “yes”.
Make sure to get the email of everyone who interviewed you and send them a note within a day of the job interview. You’ll want to reiterate how much you enjoyed meeting them, why you think you’d do well in the role, and how excited you’d be to work for them. Use this an opportunity to show them how passionate you are. Sending everyone the exact same note will likely come off as lazy, so make sure to personalize each message.
One of the biggest job interview mistakes you can make is to be late. First impressions are crucial, and this is just about the worst way to start things off. It’s unprofessional, can show a lack of interest, and is just generally disrespectful to all the people who have given up their time to meet with you. It’s also a relatively easy thing to avoid, so make sure you don’t do it.
Plan to show up at least 15 minutes before the interview starts, and if you want to be extra prepared, scout the building out a few days in advance to make sure you know exactly where you’re going.
Of course, there may be some instances where things are out of control and you’re forced to show up a little late. Maybe there’s an accident on the roads and you need to change your route, or maybe the subway is delayed. If you haven’t given yourself a big enough buffer, make sure you have the number of someone you can call in the office to let them know you’ll be running a little late, and why.
Give yourself as much time as you can to get there and remember that there’s no harm in being early. Use your extra time to take some notes, get a coffee, and relax before the job interview.
We all want to keep progressing in our careers, especially when you’re living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to get by. But this can be easier said than done. If you’re going to nail your next job interview, you’ll not only need to know what to look out for and how to best prepare, but also what you’re going to want to avoid in order to be successful. Keep these job interview tips in mind next time you’re preparing for an interview!
Are there job interview mistakes to avoid that you don’t see listed above? Share below!