For many people, going to job interviews is the single-most stressful part of the job search process.
At job interviews, any number of things can go wrong (and some without you even knowing!) and a big part of being successful is avoiding simple mistakes.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that are made during job interviews:
1. Not being clear about what you’re interviewing for
Before you go for a job interview (or apply for the job in the first place!), you should make yourself familiar with the job description so you can draw on your experiences, talents, strengths and abilities and show the interviewer that you are the right person for the job. Missing this step means that you could be missing vital parts of the job role, which will make you look incompetent or show that you haven’t done your research, which will reduce your chances of success.
2. Failure to research the company
An interviewer will expect you to spend time researching and reading about their company. Do your homework before the interview – go online, ring departments within the company to ask questions so that you can really get to know what the company does and who their competitors are.
If you have not taken the time to review the company’s website and understand what they are recruiting for, then you are reducing your chances of continuing successfully through the interview process.
3. Not marketing yourself correctly
Before you go for a job interview, you should define yourself. What makes you different from other applicants? You must know your strengths and weaknesses, your accomplishments that are worth shouting about – these relate to the job you are applying for and the company.
4. Not asking meaningful questions
Have at least three or four intelligent questions to ask the recruiter. Having some questions written down in a notebook before the interview, ready for the opportunity to ask them is a good idea. Interviews are an exchange of information, and not coming in with questions shows that you did not prepare for the interview, which shows a lack of genuine interest in the actual job.
5. Under-dressing for the interview
Professional attire and attention to detail still count. You can never be too professional. Remember that everything – your appearance, your tone of voice, your conduct – all contribute to the impression (positive or negative) that you make. Be presentable – wear a well ironed suit and shirt, or smart workwear, with clean and polished shoes. Make sure you breath is fresh – chewing gum during an interview is not a good idea, so invest in a small mouth spray that can fit into your handbag or pocket, or buy some mints.