Career Confidence

Nine Mistakes You Should Avoid In A Job Interview

An interview invitation proves that your written application was favourably received by recruiters and HR managers. Now you need to score points at the interview and take another step toward your future job with a good performance. Here is a checklist of interview mistakes to avoid.

“‘What is your desired salary?’ The unwritten rule when it comes to salary is this: whoever proposes a number first loses. When you interview, you should never feel pressured to answer this question. Simply let your interviewer know that the most important thing to you is how well you fit the position.”

Travis Bradberry

Interviews are probably the most challenging part of the recruitment process and the one most prone to mistakes that could blow your job opportunity away. Most candidates will come to an interview eager and on time but simultaneously nervous. It is common to make mistakes when you have cold feet during an interview, but some mistakes are costlier than others. That said, here at Living Through Twenties, we would like to share with you some of the interview mistakes recruiters look out for so that you know what to do to nail any given job interview.

1. Exhibiting negativity.

When they look at your resume and see that you left your last position not long ago, most of them will want to know why that is the case. No matter how much grudge you hold against your boss or colleagues, there is a time and place to disclose all the details, but not during an interview. Bad-mouthing your former employer not only makes you look like a self-centred person but also makes the interviewer question your work ethics and professionalism.

Instead of reflecting on the past, provide a positive response that puts your future and career goals in focus. Then, relate them to the abilities that you would like to contribute to the new position that you are applying for.

2. Putting money at the heart of the interview immediately.

When you make the first move to touch on salary for a position straight away, it gives the interviewers an impression that you are more concerned with how much cash you can bring back home than whether you will do a fine job.

Do not forget that you are being paid for your performance and contributions. Therefore, your qualifications and skills should always be highlighted first before anything else. When the employer decides that you are the best candidate to fill the position, the compensation discussion will come next.

3. Little to no clue about the organisation.

Companies expect candidates to do their homework before walking into the interview room. It shows they are serious about the position and can do their own due diligence, even at the interview.

Impress the recruiters by incorporating facts about the company into your responses or referring to previous accomplishments that are not mentioned on the company’s website.

4. Silencing yourself and not asking questions.

In a typical interview, the interviewers would ask the candidates if they have any questions regarding the position.

If you say no, you just threw your job opportunity out of the window. If you do not ask questions at the end, the interviewers will believe that you are uninterested. Be sure to record any questions that come to mind throughout the interview and continuously put together a few relevant questions before the interview as well.

That way, if you have no other burning questions, you will have the recorded questions to fall back on. Ensure that you do not present a question which they have already answered during the interview.

5. Giving off negative body language.

Body language can inform interviewers how confident you feel that you are a perfect fit for the position. Sit up straight, maintain eye contact, rest your hands on your lap and not cross your arms across your chest. These gestures show confidence and professionalism, which the interviewers will definitely take notice of.

6. Being too cautious about introducing some humour into the room.

Interviews do not have to be strictly professional all the time. Then again, it should not be made a joke. There is a fine line between them. A good rule of thumb would be to follow the interviewer’s lead. If he decides to make a joke, laugh but do not view it as an opportunity to extend that joke with a series of bad puns. Remember, the interviewer is assessing your qualifications and how aligned you are with the company’s culture, not your comedic abilities.

7. Rescheduling twice.

Sometimes, an unexpected event pops up, and you have no choice but to reschedule the interview. Interviewers understand that rescheduling is the norm. However, if you do it more than once, chances are, you have already failed the interview even before it starts.

8. Being dishonest.

Giving false information for the sake of inflating your abilities is a huge mistake. Even the smallest of white lies can lead you to trouble. No matter how tempting it is to convey a different version of the truth for a particular experience, the truth will emerge sooner or later when references are checked.

You are so much more worth than a liar. You are equipped with plenty of knowledge–you just need to demonstrate it. Even if you do not have experience in a particular field, remain truthful, and your talents and achievements will do the talking for you.

9. Being longwinded.

Being longwinded indicates that the candidate is easily distracted, uncomfortable, or just a chatterbox that will spend more time chitchatting than working. Be sparse with the details and give the interviewers the answers to determine whether you are the best candidate for the position. While providing the answers, be sure to keep them concise too.

Final 2¢: It is not personal.

It is worth noting that the interview process is a time-consuming process for the recruiters. They have to identify whether you are fit for the role and you can interact with others in the organisation. If you failed to get the position despite putting on a stellar performance, they likely decided another candidate was a better fit. Do not let it demoralise you.

Be patient; the perfect job will land on your doorstep, and as long as you do not make any of these mistakes, you are set to impress the next set of interviewers.

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