How not to approach a job interview

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.

One Comment on “How not to approach a job interview”

  1. Yup, winging it and going on instincts isn’t the best; but like the comment above I’ve been there.

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