Career|Career & Education

Interview Mistakes & What to Say Instead

Phone interviews can be stressful. They can feel like do-or-die moments that decide whether you get your dream job or live in poverty. In short, it is important you get them right.

So here are a few ways to develop your interviewing skills, from someone who does interviews all the time.

1.  Be More Specific Than Honest

You probably want to know up front: Do you have to be honest during an interview? The answer isn’t easy to swallow, but the truth is no. As long as you can’t get caught, enhance the truth.

But that does not mean lie. It’s illegal to lie during an interview. What you should do instead is take your normal answers and spice them up with details that will make you stand out.

2.  Never Show Fear To The Recruiter

Interviewers are fully aware of how scary interviews are. This makes them perfectly environments in which to evaluate a candidate’s ability to act under pressure.

Hesitation is fine. It can make you seem thoughtful, measured, and patient. But fear is unacceptable. If the recruiter gets the impression you are rushing through an answer, babbling nervously, or cracking under the pressure of having to answer a question, they will notice.

3.  Still, Take Your Time

Many people imagine fear to only manifest as reluctance or the petrification of panic. But more often people who are afraid express this by being jittery, hurried, or over-eager.

If you are asked a question and you draw a blank on the answer, do not panic. Don’t stall for time, ask for it. It takes a lot of courage to ask for time to think of an answer, and your recruiter will appreciate that you are communicating a need to them in a calm, collected manner.

4.  Respond to Red Flags

This is one of the hardest pieces of advice to follow if you have been out of a job for a long time. As much as it sucks to hear, there are some jobs you are better off not getting.

Don’t be afraid to walk out or hang up on an interview if you get the impression a workplace is abusive or incompetently run. Places like that will leave you out to dry without a reference eventually, so it’s better to distance yourself sooner than later.

5.  Remember The Recruiter’s Name

This is an uncommon bit of humanity to exhibit in an interview, but if you remember your recruiter’s name and show that you remember their name, they are far more likely to remember you than if you didn’t.

6.  Don’t be Right, be Human

It’s natural to go into an interview thinking of the recruiter as an emotionless robot who is looking for a candidate that is ideal on paper.

That is the job of the robot that scans resumes for keywords. Indeed, every step of the job process up until the interview lacks humanity. But once you’re at the interview it behooves you to represent yourself not as the best employee, but the best person you can be.

Good luck in the job market. Now more than ever, you’ll need it.