PA Job Interviews: avoiding epic Fails

Written by: Kingsley Knight
Published on: 5 Aug 2014

Ever had a bad interview? Can you think of a time where you felt incredibly disappointed and maybe even incredibly embarrassed with your performance after meeting a prospective employer? We all have bad days – that’s part of being human. With the blessing of hindsight we can often pin-point where we went wrong so that for next time those problem areas are not an issue. The consultants in the Kingsley Knight Recruitment team have interviewed hundreds of candidates between them and as a result have come across many situations where a candidate has demonstrated an ‘epic fail!’ We’ve listed some of the more memorable ones below. 

Remember, when it comes to interviews a lot of curveballs can be avoided with preparation so that if you do get hit it’s not so much of a shock! Although there is no telling how an interview will end up, you can increase your chances a little and some of these tips may help you do so.  

Epic Fail: Turning up to an interview ready for a rave or sporting the Casual Fridays look

Solution: Dress to impress!

You’ve heard it said countless times that first impressions count – that’s because they do! Dressing appropriately for an interview is the first step to ensuring that you create a good impression straight away. Business dress is always the safest and most professional option for an interview, even if the company you applied to isn’t the most corporate firm. Make sure your clothes, shoes and hair are neat and presentable. Low cut tops and barely-there skirts are a big no-no, as are scuffed shoes and jeans. Make an effort, take pride in your appearance, and try to show that you care about making a favourable first impression. 

Epic fails

Epic Fail: Demonstrating that you're devoid of all knowledge

Solution: Test yourself

So, you’ve learned all the facts and figures about the company and the department you hope to be joining. To make double sure that all that knowledge in ingrained in your brain, test yourself to see how much you really do know. Jot down a few questions on a pad along with the answers and then review them to see if there’s any more work to be done. 

Epic Fail: Being scared silent

Solution: Don’t stress

Stress and nerves can play a huge part in hindering your chances of success. Of course it is normal to be a little nervous as you don’t know quite what to expect, but as you gain more experience of the interview process it is likely that those nerves will begin to wane. Don’t get bogged down with worry or stress; stay focussed and look at the interview as an opportunity for you to get to know the company and people, and not just as an inquisition with yourself as the subject!

Epic Fail: Falling asleep while the interviewer speaks

Solution: Look alive

Interviewers pick-up on a person’s body language so it’s important to demonstrate that you are friendly and approachable – not closed-off and hostile. Don’t fold your arms, look interested in what the interviewer is telling you, smile and make some eye contact so that you engage in the conversation. The aim is to build up a rapport with the interviewers and come across as a positive and likeable individual who could easily be a part of the team. 

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