Job Interview Gaffs

You said what?!  You really did that?!

To reassure you that no-one is perfect, this will cheer you up if job interviews aren't going so well at the moment.

Here are some whoppers made by: me, friends, graduates and candidates I've interviewed or observed. 

 * I was asked what made good customer service. Easy and I started well with "patience" but then complete brain freeze and couldn't think of anything else. I think I dealt with that by just repeating the same word a couple more times.

* I asked for feedback after not getting the job. Apparently I took swigs of water from a bottle in my bag throughout - NO idea I had been doing that!

* At the end I meant to say "bye", then changed in my mind to "see you", came out as "Boo ya"

* As brain switched from "Thank you" to "Cheers", mouth came out with "Chanks."

* The most awkward part was when the interviewer read from my application how much I wanted to work for PwC. "Could you tell me more about that?", said the Ernst & Young interviewer.

* When I was asked if I had any questions for the interviewer I was pleased to ask my carefully planned super clever question. Unfortunately, I'd made the question too hard for someone at that level to answer and it just left us both feeling stupid.

* One candidate brought along a sample publication he had written. Great - if he had acknowledged that there were obvious ways it would need tailoring for our clients. Worse, he was then very persistent in trying to sell the publication to us.   

* When one candidate sat down in the waiting area, the receptionist couldn't miss the fact that the candidate had neglected to put on underwear that morning. This was not Sharon Stone auditioning! Ask your parents.

* I realised afterwards that I probably didn't pay enough attention to the interview panel. I remembered lots about the picture on the wall behind the panel and could describe every detail of some gorgeous shoes one of them was wearing. 

Any situation where we are on the spot: job interview, presenting, talking to anyone we want to impress is likely to increase nerves. Increased anxiety equals less brain capacity and more errors.

If you've ever had complete brain freeze and a blank you are not alone. If you have mixed up your words you're not alone. If you've given an answer then realised it was not at all what the interview asked, you are normal. If you have found yourself staring blankly because what the interviewer is saying just won't compute, you're not alone. If you have had something practical go wrong, well you're definitely not alone there.

One of the candidates above actually still got the job, as they kept their cool. I wonder if you can guess which?

Some things you can't predict or prevent. But, if you learn techniques for handling nerves and staying calm and confident in the moment, you certainly help your brain to do it's best. 

Practice, instead of just theoretical preparation, also helps HUGELY. So get in touch if you want your job interview performance to get better quicker.

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