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The Job Interview – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

When we are called for interview, we rarely give much time to consider what could go wrong.
Is there a worse feeling than arriving late for an interview because the traffic stymied us or we misjudged the time to get to the venue? Or we weren’t exactly sure where the premises was. Have you ever turned up at the wrong time or the wrong day? Or worse still, the wrong site?

So how can I avoid these pitfalls?

It goes without saying you should know the time, date, venue, and named of interviewers. Many people do a dummy run prior to interview and if your slot is early morning it’s a good opportunity to observe potential traffic issues.

If you’re given a choice of times, take off peak hours where possible, eliminating one variable. Always, always, have a contact number of your interviewer, or worst case, the main company number. The stress levels can reach an all time high when you’re running late but have no way to contact the relevant people.

Absolute No Nos

  • Obviously, there are a few basic and pretty obvious steps to take prior to interviews. Don’t go on the lash on the night before! Nothing more needs to be said on that one.
  • Avoid garlic the night before; do not have a big slice of garlic laden lasagne before you go to bed. I’m never sure which is more objectionable; the smell of alcohol or garlic. You may have been told that eating parsley or drinking green tea hides the smells; utterly unproven and very short term at best. As far mints or highly mint flavoured mouthwashes, they probably arouse more suspicion than any of the above. Mints are a camouflage; they’re hiding something!!
  • A word for the smokers among you; DON’T. You may feel that by popping a mint after the last drag before your interview will solve the problem; it WON’T. Cigarette smoke sticks to every part of you: your hands, your hair, your clothes. It has become an objectionable odour.
  • Then there’s our verbal habits! How many people do we know who finish each sentence with “you know”! Sometimes you barely notice, but sometimes, you notice nothing else. Once, while giving a workshop, I asked for feedback.  Apparently, the most memorable part of my presentation was the fact that I used the word “fundamentally” 70 times in an hour. Needless to say, I never used it again. Ask your close friends if they notice any particularly annoying verbal mannerisms. Admittedly, they’re hard to change. It feels like a statement is left unfinished. “Passionate” is another great word people use. Everyone I’ve ever met is “passionate” about what they do! It can become very trite. Find a different word!

I’ll leave you with this thought

Brian Flynn

Article by Brian Flynn

A colleague of mine attended an interview that was being held in a hotel. He arrived very early, and within a few minutes, he sees his close pal coming out of the interview room. Pal sees him, walks over and suggests he should just go home immediately. However, my friend kept his interview appointment. It was soon clear that he should have listened to his pal.

The interview was held in a corner of the lobby and within 24 hours everyone knew he was on the job market. Sometimes, just sometimes, it pays to be last minute.

Happy job hunting!


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Phone: +353 (0) 21 206 1900