Thursday, February 11, 2010

4 Job interview “Don’ts” that you may have committed unknowingly.



Yes, you have had it up here with working people, lecturers, seniors, and some helpful blokes giving you advice on the "dos" and the" don'ts" of job interview. You are always ready, but you can slip.

Yes, there could be some serious no-nos you have commited without knowing. “But dude,” you may ask, “I am very aware of what I am doing and saying, how could I have done anything wrong”. Well, for a start zip up your pants.

See? You got panicky there, because you know you can commit mistake. We are not perfect. To err is human and all that you know. So, here let me share with you some of the things that you may have done in the past. Don’t do it again. Please.

1. Bitching about previous employer

So you equate your previous employer with Hitler or Stalin or even Hitler and Stalin combined with Miley Cyrus, a truly terrifying picture that is not going to help you at all with your prospective employer.

I understand if you view your previous employer with venom. Maybe they didn’t pay your last salary. Maybe they didn’t even contribute your Employers Provident Fund. Heck, they might even have taken away your “Hello Kitty” coffee mug.

But all this does not give you the license to spit venom about the previous boss during the job interview. Right?

Why not?

Because it makes you a schmuck, no different than your previous boss. Your, what-could-have-been, prospective employer will view you as a bitter, selfish person who will have no qualms to bitch about your interviewer to others if things go wrong.

Are you that kind of person? If no, why even want to uncoil yourself that when the interviewer ask you about the reasons for leaving previous place of employment. They don’t want to see you smacking the table, having seizure or steams out of your ears. Stay calm, and just say things like, you wanted to move on, or looking for better prospects. Old, clichéd reasons, but they still work.

2. Don’t show you are desperate for job.

Times are bad, you are broke and your pet cat know very well that you have switched to a cheaper brand cat food, and disgusted, it has hitched with your neighbour’s kitty. You desperately need a job and when the interview session takes place, you blurted out pleading to the interviewer you need the job badly to afford Whiskers again. Well, don’t be so blatant, will ya?

Why not?

Look, if you are just moving on you’d be cool about it and take your time switching job. But if you are desperate and you show, chances are you might be taken for a ride. You may not be getting the kind of paycheque your skills, expertise, talent and experience might deserve, with pet cat or not.

If you had issues with your previous employer, chances are you might head onto the same problems with your new one. Why? They hired you because you are cheap and therefore they can step on you. So, watch it, don’t go in teary eyed with dopey face. They will sign you in and ask the help to bring the chain and handcuff.

3. At the same time, don’t behave like they must hand you the job on gold plate.

Of some of the recent interviews that I have done with some employers, they (some off-record and I won’t say who) commented that many job seekers come in thinking that the job is theirs…and it should be offered on gold plate. They want all the perks, privileges and be driving a brand new Beemer in just few months time. Well, go ahead and walk in with that smug outlook of the outcome, and you will still be reloading your bus card for many more years to come.

Why not?

Dude, that denotes arrogance. If you indeed deserve a gold plate, you must have that credential. If you have none of them, then they won’t even offer the job on plastic plate. I mean, forget about the plate, you are not getting that job. So, I advised you to not to be desperate, but show some moderate amount of humility and modesty, especially if you do have those credentials then you will see. Then, the job is yours though you might have to buy your own gold plate.

4. Know what your potential new job is about.

Again, you’d be retorting, “Look Rakesh, I had enough of your preaching. I know what job I am about to do. Duh!”. Sure, you walk in for that mechanical engineering job, except you didn’t actually looked at the first word when they listed for the “Sanitary Engineer” job. No, sanitary does not mean “mental state”. Look it up, will you.

Many have walked into the interview sessions without matching the job title with the organisation. You must have read that you must always do your homework before attending interviews. Some responsibilities for the same job wary from one organisation to the other. And don’t blame your dog’s dietary habit if you haven’t done your homework.

Why not?

Err…you are not the right person for it? Hello?


Hope you find the above useful and hope you have good sense of humour to take the occasional ribbing there. Happy job hunting and watch our space for more stuff. There is a Career Expo coming up on 7th of May and if you register with us, you’d be entitled to lots of workshops and personal development trainings, and you might even get hypnotised. Now, close your eyes and says this “I am attending JobsDB Career Expo”. Repeat seventeen times.

I can be reached at rakeshkumar@jobsdb.com.my if you need help to dehypnotise yourself.Cheers.

Rakesh Kumar.

Editor, JobsDB Malaysia.

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