You’ve done all the hard work…you’ve got an interview for a dream job. Now all you’ve got to do is impress your interviewer and stand out from all the other applicants (for the right reasons). No pressure then!
We all know that you should arrive on time and dress appropriately for a job interview. But what shouldn’t you do?
We can’t attend the interview for you, but follow our top tips on how to avoid the common mistakes made during your interview and you’re half way there.
Everyone knows that being late for an interview (without an amazing excuse) is an absolute no-no. But arriving too early can also be frowned upon and shows that time-keeping is not one of your skills. Try and arrive 10-15 minutes early to give you time to check in, go to the loo and gather your thoughts. And if you're going to be late, call your contact to let them know you're delayed.
- Arriving too early or too late
First impressions are vital in bagging a job. If you turn up clutching your Starbucks Frappuccino and your shirt untucked, chances are you'll be starting off on the wrong foot with your interviewer. Answering or checking your phone during an interview will also make you appear unprofessional, so turn it off and put it away. It also goes without saying that you should dress appropriately. Often, the company will let you know the dress code beforehand, but don't be afraid to ask.
- Making a bad impression
These days it's common for the interviewer to ask a question like "what do you know about the company?" Be ready for a question like this by doing your research on the company and the interviewer in advance. Make a mental note of a few key points, like how long the company has been around for, key achievements and what makes it stand out from competitors. You may even want to connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn beforehand. If you really want to impress, check the company's website or Twitter page on the morning of your interview for the most up-to-date news story and mention it in your interview.
- Not doing your research
Don’t forget…you’re not the only one being interviewed. This is your chance to interview your prospective employer to ensure it’s the right job and company for you. Do they offer a pension? Is there room for progression? You'll probably get an opportunity at the end to ask questions, so be ready with for this. Not asking any questions can come across as though you're not really interested in the role.
- Not asking the right questions
Often when we're nervous, we tend to ramble on for fear of awkward silences. There's such a thing as TMI (too much information) in job interviews, so keep your answers to the point. But equally, don't just give one-word answers to every question as you may come across as abrupt and uninterested. Sell yourself by talking about your positives that are relevant to the role and don’t talk about your negatives or weaknesses unless asked. Also, try not to bad-mouth your current company or colleagues, no matter how tempted you are.
- Talking too much