What are the most common interview mistakes?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


So, you have managed to get an interview for the job you really want!

Now the hard work really begins, you only have one chance to make your interview count....

1. Timekeeping

Research where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, with a practice run done if possible.
Google maps and directions! Allow 30 minutes extra time for your journey. Call ahead if you are likely
to be late, even if you think you might just make it!

2. What do you wear?

This varies depending on the job you’re going for, so try asking someone who works in the same industry?
If in doubt, you cannot be too smart – a neutral suit or dark trousers/skirt with a smart shirt or top is always
a winner.

3. Always be prepared

Make sure you know your CV, including any changes for specific job applications. Most interviewers will
ask for examples of your experience - have these ready in your mind! Research, research, research...
One of the most asked first questions at any interview is: "So, what do you know about us?"  Be sure to
match your skills and experience to the job and industry the employer works in.

4. Honesty is the best policy

A lie is a lie, whether it is a giving yourself a grade above on your maths GCSE or upping your sales figures
- it is best to be honest at all times. Feedback from Advancing People clients is that honesty is key and it is
one of the top traits they look for in our candidates. If you are honest throughout the interview you cannot
be found out with further questions or when references are taken if successful. 

5. Negativity towards a current or past employer

Criticising a previous boss or current company is never a good look. It can reflect on your ability to adapt
and work with different types of people but at the same time, be sure to mention all the good you have done
and achieved, particularly when change has occurred in your roles!

6. Feedback on the company interview you

If you are asked: "So what can we do better from your research?" Be careful, a couple of small examples
show you have taken the interview seriously but the interviewer could be the person that created something
you are suggesting needs changing! A website is a good place to start, spelling errors can be easy to spot and mention but perhaps suggesting a complete overhaul of photos and branding could cause offence, particularly
if the client designed the website!

7. How can your answers make you stand out?

Personality, alongside honesty is so important in interviews. There can be standard ways to answer questions
but try and keep it fresh and stand out from the crowd with your answers -
this can make the difference between a job offer or no job offer! Concrete examples of facts, figures and goals achieved cannot be beaten, if kept relevant to the job and employer in front of you.

8. Confidence but not arrogance

Confidence is great but remain focused on listening and not over-stepping the mark. Interrupting and making
too many quips or one-liners is a definite no no in interviews!

9. What can you ask?

Have some questions ready to ask and take a pad to note down other questions to ask based on what you have
heard. This shows you are keen and have taken information on board. If you get, "That's a good question" or
"I have never been asked that before so will have to check for you". This shows you have put some thought
into it and you will again, stand out from the crowd.

10. If you are nervous, it is because you want the job!

Everyone has different levels of nerves, it is because you care and want to be offered the job!

If you follow the advice in this article then you will have nothing to worry about and all those nerves will disappear... 

11. Close

It will depend on your confidence levels here but there is no excuse for not telling the client just how
much you want the job at the end of the interview! Try asking: "I feel the role is right for me but more
importantly I am the right person for the role, where do we go from here?" or "What reservations do
you have about me doing this role, if any and what is the next part of the process?"

So let's sum up quickly...

You will now be: early, presentable, confident, well researched, professional and will be standing out
from the crowd, for all the right reasons... 

Good luck!

Author: Dominic Quirke - dominic.quirke@advancingpeople.co.uk 01234268012