Seven errors you need to avoid in a job interview
- Showing lack of interest. Going through the motions is a no-no. You simply must display enthusiasm for the role, no matter how good you are at your job, or how mundane you think it is. If you can’t muster enthusiasm for the interview, they will likely conclude you won’t bring a great deal of life to the job itself.
- Giving bland, generic answers. You have got to make each interview sound unique. It simply can’t be a copy and paste of last week’s interview for a different company. Prepare specific examples that are relevant to the position – and know a great deal about the company. Every company wants to feel that you have taken the time to prepare for their day out.
- Contradicting your CV. Any doubt here may well be amplified by the interview panel when they consider your candidature. Being ‘caught out’ is not a good look. Make sure a) your CV is a reliable reflection of your career and b) read it closely in the days leading up the interview. If you claim skills in your CV, be able to talk about them. If you list experience, be able to back it up.
- Bluffing it. If you don’t know something, say so. If it’s mission critical, as the best Hollywood films say, it may well hole you below the waterline. Them’s the breaks. You weren’t likely to get the job anyway. However, if it’s something of lesser importance, it is perfectly permissible to say, “I don’t actually know that now, but in an actual job setting I would make sure to check the relevant documentation and seek guidance from more experienced personnel”. The worst thing of all is to try to bluff it. Almost every panel will spot it a mile off. They might even walk you off the plank without telling you. Nobody knows everything: not knowing is not an interview crime, but bluffing most certainly is.
- Failing to ask insightful questions about the company or the role. As we’ve said here a thousand times before, a good interview should feel like a knowledgeable conversation. All knowledgeable conversations involve a transfer of information from one side to the other using intelligent questions. Have questions at the ready. Be curious about the company – that will lead you to good questions.
- Expecting that just because something is in your CV or application form, you don’t need to elaborate on it in the interview. If it’s important, tell them. The interview must stand on its own two feet. The CV or application form got you in the front door – the interview will keep you there.
- Trying to be word perfect. People often place unreasonable expectations on themselves in an interview. You will um and you will ah. Guaranteed. Your train of thought will go awry a few times. That’s perfectly natural when we are communicating verbally with others. Don’t beat yourself up when it happens – unless you’re going for the role of continuity announcer, they’re not scrutinising your every syllable as much as you might think. An interview is difficult enough without trying to reach unachievable standards of communication.
Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.
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