Five common interview mistakes

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Job interviews can be nerve-wracking and daunting. No matter how well you have highlighted your skills and achievements in your resume, how you perform during a job interview is likely to mean the difference between getting the job and not being successful.

Make sure you avoid the five bellow mistakes commonly made by job seekers.


1.  Not doing enough research

Researching a company you’re applying to will take time, but you must be prepared to invest the time needed if you want to perform well in the interview.  In our experience, some job seekers don’t do this thoroughly enough.

It’s really important that you can talk confidently and intelligently about what your potential employer does. You should know specific facts about the organisation, including:

  • Their history, financial position, mission and products/services
  • The market in which they operate
  • Their main competitors

2.  Not being specific in your answers

You’re almost certainly going to be asked some common interview questions such as "Why do you want the job?" or "Why do you want to work for us?" When you’re asked this, you should give a specific reply and not talk in vague terms about why you’d like any job in this sector or industry. If you can’t explain clearly why you’d like this job, you will put off employers.

3.  Not knowing your CV in detail

Don’t assume that just because the information is in your CV, interviewers won’t ask questions about your background, including your responsibilities in previous roles and educational results.There is no need to know every word of your CV by heart, but you do have to be comfortable talking about what you’ve done, what you achieved and why you moved on.

So make sure you review your CV before your interview and practice how you will respond to any potential questions about the details you’ve provided. Most importantly, make sure that you can articulate how your accomplishments to date relate to the role you are applying for.

4.  Criticising previous employers or role

No matter how tempting it is, it’s not a good idea to make derogatory remarks about your current or previous boss, employer or colleagues. Try to find the positive aspects of your employment history and focus on these instead.

5.  Being too relaxed in the interview

Don’t fall into the trap of being too familiar with your interviewer, no matter how relaxed you may feel.  An interview is one of the more formal work situations you’re likely to encounter and being familiar and joking around are unlikely to help you get the job.

It’s important for you to be friendly and engaging and to demonstrate your interpersonal skills, but you must stay professional at all times.

Interview do's

Preparation is the first essential step towards being successful. Check out our best interview tips to ace your next job interview. 

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