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Interview techniques: advice you should ignore

Whenever anyone is heading for a job interview, friends and family will always line up to offer advice on the perfect interview techniques

Whether this is what to wear, how to handle questions with confidence or telling you to simply ‘act naturally’, almost everyone has a different opinion on how to interview well. Here are some tips for what interview advice might actually be best ignored.

Arrive early

It is true that turning up late for an interview is a very bad idea; however, arriving far too early can also be detrimental to your chances of impressing the interviewer. Business Insider’s Stephanie Fogle suggests that arriving any more than 15 minutes before the interview time is likely to annoy the interviewer, potentially causing him or her to have to rearrange their activities to accommodate you.

Identify a strength when asked about your weaknesses

If asked to list your weaknesses, many people will say that it is a good idea to identify a quality that could actually be seen to be a strength, such as constantly striving for perfection in every task. This might appear to be a way to present yourself well; however, it can have the opposite effect, with the response seeming insincere and phony.

It is better to identify a genuine weakness and to be honest about it, detailing the ways in which you are attempting to tackle this weakness.

Dress to Impress

It is important to look smart and presentable at interviews, of course, but wearing an immaculate suit is not necessarily the right approach if you are interviewing for a position with a company with a very relaxed dress policy. Over-dressing for the interview could be seen as a sign that you do not understand the company’s culture or that you have not done any research on the company before the interview.

Just act naturally

Time spent in an interview is very valuable and you can’t afford to waste that opportunity by ‘just being yourself’. You have to make sure that the interviewer sees your strengths and how these strengths would match their requirements. It is important never to lie, or to present an inflated impression of your talents, but you do need to present confidently, shake hands positively and create a good impression.

Don’t ask what the salary is

No one likes to ask about the salary during an interview, with many people advising that it is better not to talk about it until you have an offer of employment; however, this approach could backfire, signalling to the interviewer that you would be happy to take the role at any salary.

Liz Ryan, CEO of consultancy company Human Workplace, told Forbes magazine that it is vital to discuss the salary during the second interview at the latest; otherwise, you risk receiving an offer that comes with an extremely low salary, making negotiations much harder at that stage. There is a balance to find between not asking about the salary at all and seeming to be over-focussed on the money.

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