An interview is all about impressing your hiring manager and setting yourself apart from the other applicants. Once nerves set in, however, you may begin to second-guess yourself, which can lead to any number of common interview mistakes. While it's natural to be a little anxious, the key to securing finance jobs is to reflect confidence and understand the most common actions that can turn employers off – and avoid them.
Listed below are several interview no-no's that employers may frown upon during the meeting.
1. Bashing your former job
It doesn't matter if your last boss was rude or unappreciative of your efforts. No employer wants to sit through a five-minute detail of all grievances from your previous job. In fact, bad mouthing former employers makes you appear to be the petty one, and hiring managers may think that if you're willing to air your issues with a former employer at a job interview, you might complain about the hiring company if you join the team. In an employer's mind, this may be detrimental to team morale, and can also damage their brand and reputation among the industry. Therefore, save the complaints about your old boss for friends and family members only.
2. Being too nervous
Very few people would categorize a job interview as "fun," but if you're so terrified or intimidated that you're shaking and stuttering, a hiring manager may not think you're confident enough to fit in the company culture. They want to hire people that exude the self-assuredness and capability to complete their job tasks with ease and represent the company with poise. If you find yourself getting worked up, slow down when you answer questions, make eye contact and take a few deep breaths. Managers will understand that you're nervous so long as you're not visibly shaking during the interview.
3. Arriving too early
Everyone knows that arriving late to an interview is one of the most ill-advised things you can do, but arriving too early also sends a bad message. First, it hints at desperation, which employers don't like to see. Second, you may unwittingly disrupt the hiring manager's schedule if he or she feels pressured into beginning the interview too early. As a general rule of thumb, avoid arriving more than 10 to 15 minutes early for a meeting. This shows that you are punctual, but not too overeager.
4. Blanking out on questions
Interviews are designed to test you, so it's not uncommon for some questions to throw you off guard. However, if this occurs, the worst thing you can do is freeze up. Instead, take your time in answering or ask the interviewer to repeat the question (If you are genuinely confused). It can also be helpful to practice interviewing with a friend or family member at home to get a better idea on how to handle certain questions. Asking loved ones to make up their own questions can also train you to think better on your feet.
5. Diving into salary expectations
One of the golden rules of interviewing is that you never bring up money during the first interview, unless the hiring manager asks you about your expectations. Employers want to know that you are interested in the job and the company. Discussing the topic of money and vacation days suggests that you are too focused on what the company can do for you, rather than what you can bring to the table.