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Interview Taboos: What Are They and How to Beat Them

Every fed at some point in their career dreams about the opportunity to advance their career. Their goal is to move beyond the job that pays the bills and finally reap the rewards of their hard work by landing the dream job. This is no small feat as it requires a great amount of focus, perseverance and business communications skills. So landing a job interview is just the beginning of the journey. The hard part is succeeding at the interview and landing the new work career opportunity.

Sometimes we assume that all the “interview urban legends” will sneak up on us and prevent us from getting to the next step. It may help to know some of the “interview taboos” and learn how to move beyond them.

Interview Taboos & How to Beat Them

  1. Loss of words. Sometimes we get so excited about the interview that we forget the most important thing is speaking clearly and concisely. Meditate or take a relaxing break before the interview to calm yourself down.
  2. Full on black suit business attire. It is okay to wear business suits in grey or navy to an interview so you exude a modern business look during your interview.
  3. TMI. Ok, we all know what the acronym means (in case you don’t: too much information). The best way to prevent a full-on rant during an interview is to check your nerves at the door. Remember, to stay focused. Write your responses on index cards that you can view before the interview session.
  4. Storytelling. It is one thing to say that you saved the world like an Avenger. This type of grandiose bragging will not work during an interview.  It is another thing to listen to the hiring manager discuss her or his challenges and briefly describe how you successfully overcame similar situations.
  5. Portfolio -do or don’t? It depends on the type of job you seek. If your career pursuits include a very visual medium, it may help  to create a portfolio that you can share and wow your interviewers in real-time. It also reduces the back and forth discussion about having to send a follow-up email message with your portfolio. 
  6. Timeliness.It may be easy to blame public transportation for arriving at your interview late. However, leaders will assume it is poor planning on your part. Take the opportunity to leave travel early and arrive at your interview location sooner than later. 
  7. Research the new firm. It is okay to conduct research on the new organization that plans to interview you. It is integral to your ability to talk confidently about the organization as well as highlight the value your skills will bring to your potential new employer.

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