Job interviews are nerve-wracking experiences and so it’s understandable that you might make a few little mistakes as a result of your nerves. Most interviewers will understand this and forgive your slip-ups, but there are some huge errors that could cost you a job offer. Making one of these 5 glaring errors could show you to have poor judgement, seem inappropriate for a role or simply just see you pale in comparison to your competitors, so try to avoid doing any of these when you’re in the hot seat.
#1 – Presenting yourself poorly
Your potential new boss will subconsciously (or even consciously) form a first impression of you the moment that you walk in the room. Make it a good one by presenting yourself well – dress smartly and appropriately for a working environment, and never forget your manners. Be sure to shake their hand, call them by their correct title and surname (unless otherwise directed), and make sure that your mobile phone is turned off and hidden away.
#2 – Appearing disinterested
When interviewing potential candidates, most managers want to hire someone who will be enthusiastic about the position and the opportunity the job offers, but so many people make the mistake of appearing disinterested. This is often unintentional as nerves and attempts to appear polite can mean that we accidentally present ourselves as too reserved.
Try to overcome this by arriving at the interview prepared with questions about the company to show your interest. Then at the end of the interview when you are leaving, make sure to reiterate your enthusiasm for the position by telling the interviewer that it was nice to meet them and that you enjoyed the tasks you carried out during the interview – if, indeed, you did.
#3 – Making up answers
When asked a question they don’t know the answer to, many candidates will make the mistake of trying to come up with an answer off the top of their head which is often wrong. Although you may think that this would show your skills at improvising and quick thinking, it can backfire and simply make you look like you don’t know the subject matter and, even worse, would be unwilling to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to say that you’re not sure – the interviewer will appreciate your honesty and perhaps help you out by giving you a pointer that will enable you to be able to give an informed and thought-out answer.
Another no-no is to recycle the same trite and unimaginative answers at every interview. For example, if an interviewer asks you about your weaknesses, don’t tell them a strength dressed up as a weakness as they will be able to see through this right away. Try to consider common questions like this before the interview and think about an aspect of yourself or your personality that could hinder you in this particular role and then tell them how you’re working to improve this.
#4 – Failing to do your homework
A very common mistake is to turn up to the interview with no prior knowledge of the company you’d be working for or the job role itself. Try to look online for a company website or social media page and do some digging to see what things you can find out about them and then go to the interview with a good understanding of how they present themselves to the general public. Better yet, come up with a couple of questions about what you find that couldn’t be answered with a quick Google search.
#5 – Being overly friendly
Some people make the mistake of forgetting that they are not going to the job interview to make friends and this can lead to some bad interview habits. Making jokes to your potential new boss is generally a bad idea, particularly jokes that put yourself down as that can undermine all the work you do to make yourself seem like a good candidate. Complaining about your previous job or boss is also a terrible idea, even if it’s in jest. At the end of the day it’s always best to remember that this is a professional meeting and so respectful behaviour should be adhered to at all times.