Friday 13th is considered by many to be an unlucky day. If you find yourself avoiding certain tasks or places today, you can rest assured that you are not alone!
One situation in which you really want luck to be on your side is during an interview, so we’ve comprised a list of 13 things to avoid doing.
1. Under or over do the amount of eye-contact you make. You want to come across as engaged and interested: don’t stare at them, or your shoes!
2. Be late. This should go without saying. Find out how long the journey is meant to take you and give yourself at least 20 minutes of extra time. Prepare to be waylaid by unreliable transport links or adverse weather- think worst case scenario and take necessary precautions. You don’t want to give the company a bad impression before the interview has even started and it is much better to arrive early than late!
3. Have your phone on. This is such a basic thing to remember, yet so many people forget. Make sure that you have your phone on silent or switched off altogether from the moment you arrive at the interview. The unnecessary interruption of your ringtone will not go down well.
4. Be arrogant or over-confident. Whilst a confident candidate is often a successful candidate, an arrogant candidate is almost always a disliked candidate. There is a clear distinction between giving yourself due credit and just plain bragging- don’t do the latter!
5. Over-use slang terms. Whilst your interviewer will definitely want to see you being yourself, an interview requires a certain level of formality. No matter how laid-back your prospective employer is, it isn’t appropriate in an interview.
6. Dress inappropriately. Be mindful of colour combinations, necklines and heel heights and make sure your outfit isn’t overly fussy or distracting.
7. Moan about your current employer or workplace. Even if you do think your current role is dull and your boss is a bit of a drag, this is not the time to voice this. It will make you come across as negative and your interviewer could think that you are likely to do the same to them.
8. Talk too much. Be precise with your answers: obviously, it is okay to go into depth, but do so without going off the subject of the question. If you are giving examples, they should be concise and clearly linked to the question you have been presented with.
9. Tell lies. There is no sense in claiming that you can do things that you can’t or to want things that you don’t. Don’t claim to have skills that you would actually benefit in having more training in and don’t be dishonest about how you would like to progress and what you would like your future career prospects to be.
10. Slouch or yawn. Both of these will ensure you come across as disinterested (and rather impolite as well!). Your posture is an underrated thing in terms of how much it can demonstrate your level of professionalism.
11. Forget to listen to what the interviewer is saying. Whilst you will undoubtedly have a number of things you are very eager for your interviewer to know, it is important to listen to each question carefully and answer accordingly. Communication and listening skills are a key part of any job: you need to demonstrate yours throughout the interview.
12. Focus only on the money. Whilst the salary is obviously going to be an important factor with a new role, it is unwise to cite it as your driving factor. You should have some idea of what the salary on offer is and you should only discuss it if your interviewer brings it up first, particularly at a first stage interview.
13. Be afraid to ask questions. At the end of the interview, have one or two questions planned to ask, highlighting your interest in the company, the role and progression within it. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer “what happens next?”. This will show that you are keen to keep things moving forward and will reemphasize your interest in the role before you leave.
Okay, so we all know that in the vast majority of circumstances, it is up to us to make our own luck and I’m sure that there are plenty of sceptics out there shouting “there’s no such thing as luck!”. But regardless of whether you are superstitious or not, proactivity and positivity will always serve you well. The harder you work, the more likely you will be to succeed and to find yourself presented with opportunities. Whether or not you take a four-leaf clover or a horseshoe along with you when pursuing said opportunities… well, we’ll leave that up to you.