Common interview mistakes

Below is a list of some of the most common interview mistakes. Read them and ensure that you don't make the same errors.

  • Arriving late
    This can be down to poor advance planning. Not knowing how long it will take to reach the interview venue or failing to take into account rush hour traffic. Sometimes, arriving late is unavoidable, if your vehicle breaks down, for instance. If you carry a mobile phone you can ring ahead and inform the interviewer of your predicament. Arriving early gives you time to compose yourself prior to the interview.
  • Lack of knowledge about the job or organisation
    This is an unforgivable error, especially in the era of the internet. It only takes a few minutes to gain a useful insight into the organisation using its webpages. Failure to read the job description and person specification are also unforgiveable.
  • Poor first impression
    This could be down to several factors. dressing inappropriately, lack of eye contact, limp handshake, slouching, not smiling or mumbling. Dress smartly and stride into the room with confidence!
  • Over confidence
    Having just declared that you should always appear confident, it should be stated that you can take this too far! Appearing over confident, arrogant and assuming that you have got the post is not an endearing quality in an interviewee!
  • Not answering the question fully
    Providing monosyllabic answers to questions without any evidence of how you can do the job is a surprisingly common error. If you are well prepared, you will go into the interview with a mental list of pre-prepared examples to demonstrate your skills and experience. Another mistake is to lose sight of what the interviewer is asking you. It is easy to become distracted and lose your train of thought. Listen carefully, engage your brain and plan before answering.
  • Being economical with the truth
    Lying or over elaborating is not a good idea during interviews. You can easily become unstuck!
  • Do not be critical of your past or current employer
    Being negative about your current or last employer, even if this criticism is justified, will inevitably cost you the job.
  • Failure to ask any questions of your own
    This could suggest disinterest and lack of enthusiasm for the post. It is also a final opportunity for you demonstrate your suitability for the post. Use it!
  • Enquiring prematurely about pay and entitlements
    Bringing up pay or your holiday entitlements in the interview puts too much focus on what you want , rather than what the employer wants. There will be plenty of time to discuss this when you have been offered the post.
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