How not to approach a job interviewPosted: August 13, 2012
In my first gradireland blog post, I talked about keeping positive after getting really close in job interviews. Sometimes, I haven’t been close – I’ve been way off. My usual problem is that I get nervous or completely blank out. Then there are times where I mess up virtually everything.
While on holiday one year, I received a call to come for an interview. I’d applied for the position months before and had by that stage completely forgotten about it. They asked to arrange it for a certain date. This also happened to be the date I was arriving back in Ireland.
After getting off the plane at about 8:00am, I had until 12:00 to get there. I hopped on a bus into Dublin and quickly rushed to Penneys to buy a shirt and tie – the rest of the clothes in my possession were well-worn by that time. I was sans shower, but made a passing attempt to freshen up.
When eventually I arrived at the interviewers’ office, I was absolutely exhausted. I’d been unable to sleep in the airport the night before, meaning it was about 40 hours since I’d last garnered shuteye. I was whisked into a room where three people were waiting to grill me.
Panic set in. I misjudged what to do and overcompensated for my difficulties by acting too confident and constantly boasting. I also talked a little too much about my holiday and gave the infamous ‘I’m too much of a perfectionist/hardworker’ answer to the ‘what’s your greatest weakness?’ question. It went down like a lead balloon.
I was so disorientated that by the time I left the interview, I actually thought it had gone well. My salutation to them was about how much I enjoyed it. When I woke up the following day, after about 14 hours of sleep, realisation set in and I cringed. My fears were confirmed two weeks later by a stock email.
In retrospect, I should have tried to rearrange it for a different time and prepared a little. I basically tried to wing it and you should never wing it in an interview.
The unfortunate thing about it though is that I’ve actually had worse.