Job interviews are often challenging by their very nature. Often, meeting new people can prove tricky in the most stress-free situations. In an interview, it's easy to feel like every single word you utter counts – and most of them will, of course! Don't get flustered if you make a mistake, though, simply focus on getting things back on track.
Partly for fun, partly to give you some useful tips, we've come up with three things you won't want to have to say in an interview situation – because they suggest that something has probably gone wrong somewhere along the line!
1. 'Erm, no, I hadn't heard about that…'
Here we're talking about a response to your interviewer asking about a recent development – or even a not so recent one – that relates to the company you're going to work for, or their wider sector.
There's a chance that you'll be asked about something that will prove you have an understanding of the organisation you might end up working for, or their industry.
Give yourself the best possible chance to answer the question: Check out the company's website, but also those of people who are competitors, for example.
Read publications that deal with the industry – which you'll be able to find online – and check for any news about the company. This might not always have made it to the places you normally look for news, but could be in a dedicated section on the company's website.
If the interviewer does mention something you're not aware of, though, admit the hole in your knowledge and if possible show them that you do have a background knowledge relevant to the job, even if it's slipped on this occasion!
2. 'Ah, that's actually not true… '
Oops! If the interviewer is talking to you about the details on a CV or application and you realise something is inaccurate, the best thing to do is to own-up straight away and hope for their understanding about an honest mistake.
Mistakes can slip through on such documents – it could simply be that the choice of wording you've used creates an inaccurate impression without you realising, and that's the reason that you should never send any application off without proof-reading it into submission first! Get other people to read it too – because they could find it easier to spot errors you might have missed.
3. 'Sorry I'm late…'
Yikes! Oh dear, it goes without saying that being late to an interview is a no no. Yet still people do it, usually by accident. So how can you help yourself in this situation?
If you're travelling to the place you're being interviewed and know you're going to be late, the first thing to do is get in touch with the people who invited you to the meeting and tell them what the situation is, giving them a revised ETA and explaining yourself. This is much, much better than being late without having been in touch, though it can be nerve-wracking.
Put steps in place to help combat this situation ever coming up by aiming to arrive at the place you're going to significantly early – if it's some way away from where you live, that might mean up to an hour early.
Basically, you want a good time buffer in place in case something sets your journey back. All the usual organisational techniques – like having your outfit ready and waiting for you when you get up in the morning and planning the route to where the interview is happening – will also come in handy.
And if you are late, make sure you DO say sorry and make the best of the situation quickly.