7 Deadly Interview Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

January 12, 2018

If you have ever applied for a job, you know that getting an interview is a big task in itself. You’ve changed from an application form sitting in a pile on someone’s desk to a potential candidate.
But this is where the pressure sets in.
You now have 30 minutes to an hour to impress your potential future employer. What do you do…?
Well, that’s a pretty broad spectrum; it all depends on your working industry. But there are some general things which can work for all types of interviews to tell you what not to do.
Here are 7 of the deadliest interview mistakes, and how you can avoid them:

  • Forgetting which job you have applied for

When applying for jobs, many of us tend to send out mass applications in order to increase our chances. So when we get an interview it can be hard to remember which job it is for.
How to avoid: Keep a note of all jobs you have applied for and their adverts; when you get a response, bring out that advert and re-read the specification so you are clear with the position.

  • Turning up late

Punctuality is key.
This is the first impression your employer will get of you on the day of the interview. Turning up late shows that you were not prepared in planning your time, and it will be assumed that this is a recurring trait of yours.
How to avoid: Plan your journey in advance. If it is somewhere you have never been before then research the quickest way to get there, leaving some time for traffic or lateness.

  • Bad appearance

Visual impressions are key in helping the employer decide, so looking scruffy or unprofessional will give a bad impression.
How to avoid it: Plan an outfit ahead of time. If you do not own many professional clothes, buy or borrow some for the purpose of the interview.

  • Being unprepared

Turning up unprepared will tell the employer that you are not interested in the job and seem as if you are wasting their time.
How to avoid: Research the company in depth and have some answers prepared for standard interview questions. This will show your dedication and interest in the job. Also ensure that your experience is relevant for the job. Study a course to put your CV ahead of the competition.
Take a look at Open Study College courses

  • Negative body language

Body language sends signals to the brain that translates them into positive or negative feelings. Slouching, seeming unfocused or fidgety displays signs of disinterest and shyness.
How to avoid: Sit up straight, focus on the interviewer(s), and look into their eyes when speaking and listening to show attentiveness and confidence.

  • Being negative or defensive

DO NOT speak badly of your previous employer! If something is said that you don’t agree with, do not get angry and defensive as this will give a bad impression.
How to avoid: Think of a reasonable way to explain your departure, if asked, and always try to put a positive spin on any criticism or rebuttals that you have to say.

  • Not asking any questions

An interview is a two-way street. It will seem as if you are not interested or haven’t prepared enough if you do not ask any questions.
How to avoid: Think of some questions before you arrive and even during the interview, based on what they have said or asked.
Sometime nerves can take over and some of these interview mistakes can slip in naturally. But try to avoid them as much as possible and your recruitment process should be a quick and easy one.

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Sharnie Carter

Passionate about marketing and education. Currently studying a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing via distance learning. When I'm not working or studying, I'm spending time with my young son and husband or hinching!

7 Deadly Interview Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
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