What should you NOT do in an interview? A poll into interview blunders found that when hiring managers were asked to name the most common and damaging interview mistakes a candidate can make, 51% listed dressing inappropriately. 49% percent cited badmouthing a former boss as the worst offense, while 48% said appearing disinterested. Arrogance (44%), insufficient answers (30%) and not asking good questions (29%) were also top answers.
Below is a top 10 selection of mistakes to avoid. A big part of a successful interview is avoiding simple mistakes. Mistakes are deadly to the job seeker and easy to avoid if you are prepared:
Get directions from the interviewer – or look up the location on a man. Wear a watch, and leave home early. In the extreme case that you cannot avoid being late, call the interviewer and arrange to reschedule.
Lack of Preparation
Not being prepared is just about the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to job interviews. You need to prepare for an interview in the same way you would prepare for an exam. When you are offered an interview, make sure you ask what form the interview is going to take so you can prepare. E.g. is it going to be a one on one interview? Will it be a group interview? Who will be attending the interview, and what are their positions? Not being able to answer basic interview questions such as “What do you know about this company?” creates the impression that you don’t care, and it can end your chances immediately.
You make your greatest impact on the interviewer in the first 10 seconds, and you want that first impression to be strongly positive. Dress for the occasion. You will certainly need to wear a suit if you are interviewing for professional position. When interviewing for another type of job, such as a casual summer job as a lifeguard or waitress, for example, dress accordingly in neat and casual attire.
This includes badmouthing your current or former employers, employees or even the competition. Nobody likes a complainer and it portrays a negative image of your personality. In the world we live in, you never know who your interviewer might be friends with or who the company’s clients are. You don’t want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company in the future.
Poor body language
- Using constant slang
- Crossing your arms
- Nervous gestures e.g. playing with your hair
- Using your hands too much when talking
Don’t be rude or abusive
You would expect this to be obvious, however an interviewer will want to test your patience and see how you react to their questions. Losing your temper, becoming defensive, and acting abusive are the best ways to not get hired. No matter how calm or apologetic you are, the damage has already been done.
Poor Communication Skills
This includes answering questions with “yes” or “no” answers. You need to display confidence. Engage the person you are speaking with, and let the interviewer know that you are an excellent candidate for this position.
Talking Too Much
The interviewer wants to know why you are the best person for the job. They do not need to hear your entire life story. There are few things worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on and on. Keep your answers concise, to-the-point, and focused. Don’t ramble, and don’t lie or make up stories. The best advice is to be honest and simply answer the questions.
Not answering the question
Nothing is more frustrating for an interviewer than to ask a simple question and not get an answer. Straight away it sets off alarm bells in the interviewer’s head that the person is either unprepared or not listening. Make sure you listen to the question and take a moment to gather your thoughts before you respond.
Forgetting to Follow Up
No matter how well you think the interview went, always follow up. If you have not heard from the interviewer within a few days, don’t be afraid to call and follow up and reiterate your interest in the position. A follow up thank you email or phone call can sometimes go a long way to securing you the job. It also leaves a good impression
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