We all know that job interviews can be both super exciting and nerve-wracking experiences. It’s that chance to showcase your skills, experiences, and personality to a potential employer. However, it also comes with the pressure of making a strong (good) impression! Many candidates often fall prey to common interview mistakes that can hinder their chances of landing the dream role. We’re here today to explore some of these pitfalls and provide you with valuable insights on how to avoid them.
Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail!
One of the biggest mistakes a candidate will make is turning up to an interview unprepared. If you haven’t researched the company, its culture, and the role you’re applying for – this can give the impression that you’re not genuinely interested. It could also be embarrassing if they specifically ask you about it! Don’t worry, this is easily avoided, all you have to do is put the time in. Do a little research about the company’s mission, values, recent news, and study the job description in detail. Come the interview, answers can be tailored to show your skills and the company’s needs.
Present your best self
Confidence is key in most situations, especially an interview. If you present yourself poorly, this can leave a lasting negative impression. Make sure to practice your elevator pitch, focus on your strengths, accomplishments, and what you bring to the organisation. Don’t go over the top, cockiness will not go in your favour – arrogance won’t get you hired!
Communication is KEY
This is more than just what you say, think about your tone, body language and your listening skills. Maintain good eye contact, offer a firm handshake (nothing silly, it’s not a contest). Sit up straight to show you’re confident and enthusiastic. Make sure you are actively listening, responding to interviewer’s questions, and showing a genuine interest in what they have to say.
Don’t be a politician – answer the question
Generic responses that don’t really address the specific requirement of the job provide the interviewers with nothing to judge you upon, and can be a waste of time. Instead structure your answers properly, share examples from your past experiences – that are relevant! Showcasing how you have tackled challenges similar to those expected in the role you’re interviewing for.
Negativity breeds negativity
Going into an interview and badmouthing an ex-employer or colleague can reflect poorly on your professionalism and adaptability – so don’t do it! If you have experience difficult situations in previous roles just focus on the lessons you’ve learned from them instead of the negativity.
Softly, softly, catchee monkey
Soft skills are just as highly soft after as technical. Skills like teamwork, adaptability and problem solving are just as important to employers. Try to highlight these qualities in the answers you give, back these up with examples from your work experiences.
Have questions ready
At the end of every interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. Even if you don’t have any that need answering, it may come across like you’re not genuinely interested. The easy solution is to prepare several insightful questions that demonstrate your curiosity about the role, the team, and the company culture.
Culture comes first
In modern interviews, it’s not just about what you say and how you say it – organisations want to know if individuals will fit into their company culture. Do a little research into the company’s values and culture to determine if they align with your own – if they don’t – the company is potentially not for you. If it does, during the interview try to emphasise how your personality and work ethic/style would contribute positively to the team and organisation.
Be prepared and on time!
Turning up late or flustered because of a lack of planning is a major X on your checklist. Plan the route you’ll be taking on the day (maybe try it previously for timing), leave early, and ensure you have the necessary documents that you’ve been asked to bring with you. You can always get there early and have a coffee across the road, maybe even a cake?
Take the initiative, follow up
Once the interview is completed, don’t be afraid to take the initiative. Send a thankyou email to the interviewer, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position. This may seem like a small gesture, but it can leave a positive and lasting impression.
In summary, the interview is your chance to shine and prove your worth to potential employers. You’ve managed to stand out from the crowd and land the interview. Now just avoid making these interview mistakes and implement the tips provided. You will then increase your chances of acing the interview and landing that dream role. Just remember, preparation, confidence, and authenticity are keys to making a memorable impression that will set you on the path to success.