Donald Trump – we’re guessing you’ve heard of him. Bet he can’t teach you what not to do at an interview? Think again!
The 70-year-old entrepreneur has made his fortune thanks to various ventures and investments into real estate, sports and beauty pageants. With a net worth of $3.7 billion, this household name is emblazoned across buildings throughout America and his success is, arguably, inspirational.
Mr Trump has been propelled even further into the limelight thanks to his surprising, and sometimes cringeworthy, presidential campaign. If successful, he will be the oldest President ever elected in the USA. The Republican candidate has divided opinion in America; his controversial proposals surrounding sensitive issues such as immigration and taxes have polarised the population.
His campaign, however, has been hard to take entirely seriously. Scandals have followed Trump throughout his campaign and with more and more questionable behaviour coming to light, his presidential dreams seem to slip further away. Allegations of tax evasion, xenophobia and even sexual assault have arisen as his campaign progresses. Despite this, his followers seem to remain loyal.
According to his competitor, Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton: “Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different – they are dangerously incoherent. They’re not even really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies.” Fighting talk, for sure!
Following the election on November 8th, America will find out who will take control of the country. Until then, the world waits with bated breath.
So, what can we learn from this election? We’re not sure where to begin to answer that! What we can tell you, however, is that we think that Donald Trump illustrates perfectly what NOT to do in many situations. One of these is job interviews – after all, this election is one giant media circus of a job interview!
Take it away, Donald!
1. DON’T be negative
There’s an old saying: “Negativity breeds contempt”. People don’t want to be around overly negative people. So, if you’re in an interview and you appear to have nothing positive to say, or if you come across as being a bit of a complainer, the interviewers are unlikely to warm to you. As much as you have to impress with your skills and experience, your personality is important, too. Think about it, would you hire someone you didn’t like?
Going into an interview with a positive attitude is important for you, as well. If you think positively, you’ll feel confident and ready to take on anything!
2. DON’T be unprofessional
We know that interview nerves can be awful. Do what you need to do to hide them, but don’t take it too far. The same goes for building rapport with interviewers. If you seem too relaxed or casual, it may seem like you’re not taking things seriously. Or even worse, you may appear to be unprofessional. Not good.
Confidence and rapport are vital in an interview setting, but there’s a difference between exuding quiet confidence and walking in and acting like – well, Donald Trump. Keep things professional; your attire, your language and your behaviour.
3. DON’T interrupt
This goes for both individual and group interviews. Even if you think that you have something great to say or you completely disagree with something someone else is saying, there’s no excuse for interrupting others when they are speaking during any interview. Expressing enthusiasm and/or demonstrating your leadership skills can be done without talking over people.
Listening skills are a key part of your abilities to communicate effectively. Therefore, if a prospective employer sees that you are unable to do this, this will raise concerns about who you are as an employee and how you will interact with others.
4. DON’T forget your body language
The percentage of how much we communicate using verbal and non-verbal means is hotly disputed by various psychologists and communication experts. Some believe that as little as 7% of what we communicate is done verbally, so non-verbal communication is not to be ignored!
Eye contact, smiling, a firm handshake, open body language and confident posture can all have a huge effect on how successful you are at an interview. Bear this in mind whenever you’re attending one and you’ll massively boost your chances of getting the job.
5. DON’T bad-mouth anyone
This ties in with not being negative, but is still worth a mention as a stand-alone issue. People have connections. You have no idea who the interviewer knows within your industry, so it’s best to keep any ‘beef’ you have with your colleagues or professional acquaintances to yourself.
A common example of candidates bad-mouthing others in interviews is when they complain about their current or previous managers. No matter how much you hate them and no matter how terrible a manager they may be, keep it to yourself! This sort of behaviour will work to your detriment, even if your interviewer doesn’t know who you’re whinging about, they won’t want to bring such an attitude into their business.
6. DON’T lose your focus
Interviews are pressurised situations, there’s no escaping that. What you can avoid, though, is falling victim to the pressure. Staying focused will help you to make a good impression on whoever interviews you.
If you are answering a question and find yourself drifting off topic, bring things back to the point. Long anecdotes or going off on a tangent can leave you asking yourself “what was the question again?”. When your interviewer asks you a question, feel free to supplement your answer with evidence, but make sure that you have clearly provided an answer.
Also, your interviewer may not be the most interesting person on the planet, but don’t lose your concentration. It’s pretty easy to tell when someone has stopped listening, so don’t give yourself the opportunity to be caught out!
There we have it, 6 interview don’ts demonstrated beautifully by Donald Trump – bet you didn’t expect to learn much from him today!
Good luck to anyone headed to a job interview… and to America!