Ashleigh Johnston, Intern
I recently read an article titled “10 Unusual Interview Mistakes and Six That Are All Too Common.” The mistakes were indeed very unusual but it reiterates what I think can really be your best asset. Being a great interviewee is important at any stage of your career. However, I will assert that for an intern with little to go off of other than your education and how well you present yourself, it is even more important. Your ability to prove that you are well spoken, can handle yourself in high pressure situations (like an interview) and basically sell your capabilities may put you ahead of your competition and win you the position. That being said, I hope you read these and laugh rather than have an anxiety attack realizing you have committed one of these interview crimes:
- Candidate brought a “how to interview book” with him to the interview
- Candidate asked, “What company is this again?”
- Candidate put the interviewer on hold during a phone interview. When she came back on the line, she told the interviewer that she had a date set up for Friday.
- Candidate wore a Boy Scout uniform and never told interviewers why.
- Candidate talked about promptness as one of her strengths after showing up 10 minutes late.
- On the way to the interview, candidate passed, cut off and flipped the middle finger to a driver who happened to be the interviewer.
- Candidate referred to himself in the third person
- Candidate took off his shoes during an interview
- Candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer’s coffee
- A mature candidate told the interviewer she wasn’t sure if the job offered was worth “starting the car for.”
These extreme cases are clearly the horror stories of the interviewing world, but the next 6 may be ones you have been guilty of without even realizing it:
- Answering cell phone or texting
- Appearing disinterested
- Dressing inappropriately
- Appearing arrogant
- Talking negatively about current or previous employers
- Chewing gum
We can all learn a lesson here. Seemingly innocent acts that we may not even be aware of can be the death knell for the job you are trying to land. So heed these warnings fellow interns and intern-hopefuls – bring your ‘A’ game down to the smallest detail!