When attending an interview, as humans we tend to concentrate and focus solely on what we should do. We never really pay much attention to the things that we should not do. We have already outlined a short article on Simple Tips to Interview Success but today we wanted to address a different topic. Some mistakes that people tend to make that you should try and avoid at all costs during your job interview. Some of the elements on this list may seem pretty obvious but you would be surprised how forgetful some people become when dealing with the pressure of a job interview. Ensuring that you are properly prepared should eliminate the risk of falling at the last hurdle, so hopefully you’ll find this post helpful with regards to your preparation on the run up to a job interview that you’ve successfully secured.
1. Dress Appropriately
Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions. We would always encourage interviewees to make an effort when attending an interview. It’s always advisable to wear a suit or to dress smart at the very least. Even for for industries that are considered to be “creative industries” you will be told of the companies dress code on the day of the interview but until then your safest option is to always dress smart.
Just as important as it is not to lie on your CV, it is equally important not to lie throughout the interview process. Yes, it is important to highlight and emphasise your skills and qualities but there is a fine line between emphasising and exaggerating. Exaggerating your skills and experience will not aid you in any way and will just create a little bit of an awkward moment between you and the employer when they find out you were being dishonest. Remember, an interview is a two way decision making process. If you are dishonest in the interview then what’s the point? Being deemed successful in an interview that’s based on fake attributes and accomplishments might get you a job but sooner or later the truth will catch up with you.
3. Bad Mouthing Employees (Past or present)
Speaking negatively about current or past colleagues is completely unprofessional. It may often leave a bad taste in an interviewers mouth causing them to think that you’ll do the same to them. If for some reason you do have an issue with an employer, for the sake of the interview process it’s best to keep this information to yourself and just state that you are looking for a new opportunity in a new company or that you are looking to take your career in a new direction.
4. Closed Body Language
Building a rapport with an interviewer can be the foundation for a smooth and successful interview and can certainly increase your chances of securing the job. Body Language is a crucial part of a job interview. Many people tend to alter their body language subconsciously in an interview environment as there are so many things running through their mind that they want to ensure that they convey throughout the interview. Try to avoid sitting across from the interviewer with your arms folded and not attempting to make any eye contact. How will this enable you to engage properly with anyone? Try and mirror the body language of the interviewer where possible.
5. Avoid Rambling
Keep your answers concise and to the point. Although many people get nervous during interviews, they tend to go off on a tangent and ultimately just end up waffling. Don’t be tempted into thinking that the more you talk the better. Take a couple of deep breaths. Compose yourself and think about the question you’ve been asked.
6. Discussing Money/Time Off
The job interview is not the time or the place to start negotiating or requesting your time off for your holiday. Try and avoid using the interview process as an opportunity to ask about salary and benefits. Monetary exchange and time off can be discussed at a later stage when an offer has been made as part of your negotiations before accepting the offer. If one of your first questions to the employer is regarding salary expectations or time off it may leave a negative impression on them and they may begin to believe that you’re not serious or passionate enough about the specific role.
7. Arriving Late/Requesting to Leave Early
Plan ahead of time. Make sure that you are aware of the location of the interview, how you plan on getting there and allow time for traffic or obstructions. If you do find that you have gotten help up and are running a little later than desired, contact the company and let the interviewer know when you hope to arrive for, this is just common courtesy. It’s recommended you keep your schedule free after the interview. If the interview runs over time and you are requested to wait around a little bit longer it’s advised to be compliant and show your willingness rather than running out the door the first chance you get. This will reflect poorly on you as a candidate and may result in someone else receiving the offer.
8. Not Asking Follow Up Questions
Always ask questions at the end of an interview. Hiring managers are trying to investigate how interested you are in the role and are trying to see how much of an insight you have in the industry and the organisation. Prepare a few questions that you can ask once the interview has finished. If your questions have been answered throughout the course of the interview then you may request further details.