Job interviews are life’s way to tell you three things: Dress nicely, don’t swear, and always come prepared. If you follow theses three rules, you should be able to avoid the following very common – yet very deadly- career traps.
1. Take another look at your CV, and never lie in an interview
If you’re a graphic designer who once filled in for their boss at a business lunch and your CV reads: “recruiting high profile clients”, you’re not alone. We all embellish a little. The problem occurs when you find yourself unable to answer questions about your “high profile clients” in a job interview.
So before you hit the “Send” button, take a second look at your CV. Tone it down when you feel you’ve gone too far, reherse and prepare your pitch. Make sure you’re able to back up each and every claim you make on your CV with specific examples and facts. Don’t let yourself be caught on something you wrote months ago and have now forgotten.
2. Find out everything you can about your prospective employer
In my early 20’s, I interviewed with a national newspaper withough doing any research. When asked “Who is our Editor in Chief?” I stared blankly at the interviewer, shrugged, and promptly thanked him for his time. It was clear to us both that I wasn’t going to make the cut.
If you go on a job interview without methodically researching the company, the interviewer will see right through you. A 5-minute Google search doesn’t count – you need to be fully knowledgable of the company’s history, activities and goals. This will show that you care about the organization, and that you take opportunities given to you seriously.
3. “Relax” is not an option; keep it professional
Only the very young and naive truly relax when told to do so in an interview. If an interviewer begins the process by telling you to “relax”, always assume he or she is trying to get you to drop your “game face”. You are not hanging out with a new, awesome pal, so avoid falling into the “just relax” trap.
Instead, keep it professional. Do not volunteer personal tidbits that do not relate closely with the position and the company, always keeping in mind that despite the comfortable setting, the interviewer wishes you to keep, at all times, a sound professional judgment.
4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
These two questions, favored by interviewers around the world, are often tricky. When asked about your strengths, avoid listing all your great qualities. Instead, revolve your answer around the position offered. Does it require team work? Does it involve long, stressful hours? If it does, be sure to mention that you are an experienced team player who remains unfazed by long, demanding days.
The second question, “What are your weaknesses?” is a cliche-inviting trap. Avoid saying something like “I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist”. Instead, recount an instance where you identified a weakness, worked on it, and turned it into a point of strength. For example: “I’m not a naturally organized person and sometimes when my inbox’s full I feel like I’m losing track of my emails. However, I found this incerdible plugin, Boomerang, that helps me take control of my inbox. . . have you heard about it”?
5. Badmouthing past employers is always a bad idea
The fact that your last boss was a pompous hack is not only irrelevant, but also a dangerous tactic when mentioned in an interview. Badmouthing past employers can never work to your advantage, for three main reasons. First, it’s a small world out there. Your last boss may be your prospective boss’ client, supplier or racket-ball buddy. Second, your prospective boss might rightfully believe that “once a cheater, always a cheater” and decide not to hire someone who comes across as an ungrateful whino. And third, if you had a tense relationship with your last boss, you might actually score points if you reference it in a cool and collected manner. This will portray you as a safe and respectful employee, worthy of confidence and trust.
Think you got it figured? Interview with Wix.com!
We’re always looking for talented people who share our passion for making web design accessible for all. Wix has offices in New York, San Francisco, Dnepropetrovsk and Tel-Aviv and you might fit one of our many exciting positions. Check out our Job Board to get an idea :)
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