The Most Common Interview Mistakes
The Most Common Interview Mistakes
Why should you be aware of the most common interview mistakes?
- Being aware of the most common mistakes is the best way to ensure you avoid them in your preparation and in the interview itself. This also shows the type of person you are, and that you’re willing to make the most of the opportunity given to you. Avoiding the most common mistakes also increases your chances of being hired as it shows your confidence and competence.
So, what are the most common interview mistakes?
Arriving at the wrong time - too late or too early
- Arriving late will simply come across as rude and disrespectful to the interviewer, and could start the interview off on the wrong foot. Equally, you don’t want to arrive too early and appear too keen or to make the interviewer feel under pressure. Try and arrive several minutes early so you’re prompt and ready to go for your interview start time.
- For an interview you want to dress appropriately in smart and professional dress. You want your appearance to give a good impression.
Using your phone
- Phones are a big no no. Before the meeting, why not read over some of your prep notes instead of staring at your phone. Whilst in the interview, turn it off because the last thing you want is it to go off or start vibrating causing a distraction to both yourself and the interviewer.
Not knowing your stuff
- You have to prepare your own notes about your past experiences etc. But, a big part of the interview is knowing about the company itself. Many businesses will not tell you to prepare this, but it is something they all expect. It shows you’re intuitive and have put in the extra effort to be able to discuss the business, and how you as a person would add to it. Not doing this prep will not make you seem as attentive or interested in the company as others who have done this prep.
- Zoning out during an interview is not the best idea. Firstly, it looks like you’re not interested and don’t want to be there. Secondly, if you zone out and don’t hear the question then you may lose your train of thought. Using attentive listening skills gives an indication as to the type of employee you will be.
Unsure of what is on your resume
- Don’t make stuff up on your CV, as this is a very easy way to get caught out and make yourself look unprofessional. Also, make sure you know exactly what is on your CV, so you are prepared to talk to them about any of it. You don’t want to be stumped if they ask you about something and you’re not aware you’ve done that. Also it’s good practice to bring a few spare incase people need one.
Talking too much or too little
- Answering any questions succinctly but with enough information for the interviewers to get to know you is important. But try not to waffle or not be receptive at all. It sounds restrictive, don’t talk too much or too little, but just think of this as a normal conversation, don’t see it as a scary interview. At the end of the day you’re assessing them just as much as they are assessing you. You’ve also got to decide whether these are people you want to and could see yourself working with.
Speaking poorly of previous employers
- Speaking poorly of previous employers doesn't reflect well on you as a person, and implies you hold grudges and can have negative energy. Instead you want to focus more on what you've learned there, and what you will take away from that job. If you’re asked any questions about your previous coworkers or disagreements, practise a way to approach these questions in a positive light.
Not prepping questions
- Preparation is key! Not prepping questions in advance is one of the biggest interview mistakes you could make. Having wishy washy and unformulated answers is okay every now and then, but this cannot be a constant throughout the interview.
Poor body language
- Body language is very important, and poor body language will raise ideas of you not wanting to be there, or being disinterested. Instead, walk in and give a firm handshake while introducing yourself. Be happy and friendly throughout the interview by sitting up in your chair, maintaining eye contact and smiling. Nod your head (when necessary, you don’t want to look like a nodding dashboard dog), this shows you’re engaged and listening.
Neglecting to follow up
- Following up and thanking the interviewer for their time is a great way to leave the interview on a good note. Not doing this gives the impression that you don’t care about about the interview or position.
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