For those starting the new year by beginning or resuming a job search, we thought we’d put together a post on some of the most common interview mistakes we see. Rarely ever is an interview ‘perfect’ but sometimes they can be so far from perfect that it’s worth writing about. Our team have put their heads together and come up with some of the worst mistakes we have ever seen and heard of, in the hopes you can make sure you avoid them.
It’s not an interrogation. It’s an interview
Some candidates come into their interviews like the proverbial deers in headlights. Their demeanour is such that they think they could say one wrong word and the interview will be abruptly stopped and they’ll be sent on their way. Yes, you’re on a kind of ‘trial’ but it is still an interview – a dialogue that goes both ways. They will ask you questions, and you will do the same. Ok, so they will ask more than you, but it is still wise to approach the interview like a conversation, not an interrogation. Remember, the interview is an opportunity for you to figure out if the company is right for you, as well. You need to do a little interviewing yourself.
Sometimes weaknesses are just…weaknesses
We are all human and trying to pretend that you are aren’t by either not being able to own up to any weaknesses when asked, or by presenting a weakness as a strength is a bit of a cop-out. We hear people say things like, ‘I’m obsessed with details which makes me a perfectionist’ or ‘I don’t know when to take a break’ and secretly roll our eyes. Be honest about your weaknesses. We all have them and it’s OK. If yours is one you think would be a deal-breaker for your interviewers, simply omit that particular one from the conversation.
Not turning off your cell
It has our jaws on the floor that this still happens.
Bad-mouthing previous employers or colleagues
We do not care how badly you might have been treated. It is not going to do anything to help your chances of landing a job if you are seen to be someone who bad-mouths others or holds grudges.
Perhaps it’s a knock-on effect from the ‘TMI’ era of social media, but oversharing with your interviewers is a real no-no. You need to find that line between presenting yourself as an authentic person and being too informal with your interviewers.
It’s surprisingly easy to make mistakes that you would otherwise have considered stupid when you are in an interview. Nerves and adrenalin can sometimes take hold and make us react in way we wouldn’t normally. The key is to stay calm, collected and comfortable. Practice and preparation are crucial for this.