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Top 5 Tips to Prevent Interview Failure

The current job market has clearly been affected by the crash in the economy, resulting in many redundancies. With so many unemployed saturating the job market it is easy for recruiters to simply cross your name off the interviewee list. The top 5 tips listed below will be a good reminder about the most important things to do and not to do before the interview.

Related: Job interview Preparation Guide: Essential Checklist


1- Getting interview timing right is not just about being late

When we hear a timing tip about a job interview we automatically assume its all about not being late. You should also consider that most employers would not want to see the candidate arriving too early for the interview and having to find space for them in a waiting room, while they site nervously.

Why applicants should avoid arriving at the interview too early:

- The employer will think that you are desperate.

- They will think that you have nothing else to do.

- You will give pressure to the interviewer or receptionists, whoever receives you, which won't result leave a good impression for you.

- Just sitting and having nothing active to engage you, and the environment you are in will increase your nervousness.

So timing is not just about arriving there early, right? You should arrive no more than 10 minutes before your interview, which will give you time to go to the toilet, review your CV and be as relaxed and prepared as possible.

2- Talking negatively about your previous job won't do you any good

Don't be fooled with this idea that being very negative about your past employments will be helpful for you during your interview. Whatever happened between you and your previous employment should stay in the past. If you do want to talk negatively about your previous employment then be diplomatic and spare the interviewer the gory details.

If you speak too freely during your interview, prospective employers will think that you are not discreet and will moan about their business to colleagues, future employers or even worse their clients!

In conclusion: The past is the past, remember the things that wouldn't ruin your interview and hinder your chance of getting that job.

3- Do you know that company?

Employers would love to hear things from the candidate that demonstrate that you are really interested in the company and the job role. Talking in depth about the company structure, and telling the interviewer something about the company that you have researched and is not very known will be like the icing on top of the cake.

You should also prepare some questions that you could ask when given the opportunity through or after the interview. If you don't ask any questions about the job (and not just, “what is the salary”) then the prospective employer will get the impression that you aren't interested in the position. Interview preparation means being ready for anything, including what questions you might ask during and at the end of the interviews.

Takeaway: Silence is not a recommended answer!

4- Is everything true on your CV?

Lies may get you an interview or even a job offer, but they can't survive forever. Anything that is untrue or exaggerated on your CV will eventually be found out by the interviewer with a couple of clever questions.

Most common CV lies are about:

- Gaps in the work history.

- Levels of language ability, i.e. stating you are fluent in another language when really you can count to 20 etc.

- References that are non-existent or can't be found.

- Exaggerated or falsified accreditations, such as stating you have a 1:1 degree when you don't.


Don't risk your application by telling lies that can be caught out very easily. Be honest, that is the only way that works. Lies on your CV could lead to rejection, loosing your job if you have been employed, or even prosecution depending on the seriousness of the situation. For example if you are applying for a nursing job but don't have the appropriate qualification you could cause someone an injury and be prosecuted under criminal law.

Related: How to write a winning CV

5- Interview Attire is important

Ok, you may not be a fashion expert who knows what to wear all the time and are aware of colour matching staff etc. but we all know what smart looks like! So dress appropriately for your interview, and remember that it's better to be overdressed than too casual.

What you wear communicates who you are and how serious you are about the job interview. Remember that people will make an initial impression of you within a couple of seconds of meeting you, and part of this is based on what you are wearing.

Traditional interview attire is a black suit, white shirt and black shoes for men and the same neutral colours in a modest, long dress or trousers and matching top and shoes for women. You have worked hard on your CV and preparing for the interview, why risk this great opportunity to land this job by trying an outfit that might be inappropriate or is not widely accepted.

Related: Should I send a follow up cover letter?

image by: Will Folsom

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