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The 14 Deadly Job Interview Mistakes

The 14 interview mistakes listed below can be easily avoided. All you need to do is take extra care before your interview. Make sure that you are fully ready for your big day! Sit back and read this guide:.

1- You are not on time for your own interview!

It doesn't matter whatever your reasons are, nobody is interested in your excuses, you are late!  That's the fact, the rest is your problem. This situation (being late) indicates to the employer that either you weren't prepared for your big day or it wasn't a big day for you.

Examples of poor excuses include:

- The traffic was heavy (Why didn't you leave your home early) (Why didn't you discover a shorter way to the interview place)

- I couldn't locate the building (Why didn't you visit the place day before?)

2- You are too early

Being too early is a big mistake as being late, or at least it can be.  If you are early people will have to find somewhere for you to sit and put themselves out, perhaps bring the interview earlier and it will generally be frustrating for the recruiter.

If you have arrived early then find a coffee shop or a park bench and wait there.  Reread your CV and continue your preparation. Do not arrive at the interview more than 10 minutes early.

3- You are not dressed smartly

It is suggested that recruiters make up their minds about a candidate within the first 90 seconds of an interview, and some of these first impressions will be based on what you wear.  It is very important to wear the right clothing for your interview. The best way to decide about the dress code is to check out what the employees of that company wear during the workday, and perhaps smarten it up a little as this is an important day.  If they wear a uniform then a similar outfit (e.g. blouse and skirt or polo shirt and trousers) might be a good idea so that the recruiter can literally see how you would fit into the role.

4- You are desperate and it's obvious!

Recruiters can easily identify if you are desperate for a job! It's great to be keen and enthusiastic but if it looks like you have applied for hundreds of jobs and you have finally got an interview then they may be questioning why other employers have not called you in for interviews before. Relax, look cool and confident. You can control your emotions.

5- You didn't turn your phone off or it's not silent

Imagine that everything is going perfectly, you are doing great and guess what's happened? Your phone is ringing! That can turn everything against you, all the positive thoughts would be gone.  If this happens to you then apologise and swiftly turn your phone off, do not answer the phone!!

6- You talk badly about your previous employers

This is probably one of the most deadly mistakes that job seekers make during their job interviews. How can the recruiter guarantee that you won't talk badly about them too if you're hired? Be professional and discreet about your personal misgivings (like a politician) only talk about positive things. "I am ready to start a new chapter in my life" or “I want to move into a different sector” are both preferable to bad-mouthing your ex-employer.

7- You are unable to answer these questions

"What can you do for this company?" "What can you do that other candidate can't?" "Why should we hire you?" "What are your strengths?" and, "Tell me about yourself." Those were the most asked interview questions and you should have already done your research and prepared some answers!  Winging it in an interview situation is stressful and could be full of disappointment.

8- You are too talkative!

It's great to be confident and look like you know your stuff, but if you're talking too much and not letting the interviewer get a word in then you are not giving a very good impression.  It is normal for an interviewee to talk more than the recruiter as it is usually the recruiter asking short, open questions.  However, you should be looking at a 70% interviewee and 30% interviewer split.

If you talk quickly and incoherently when you are nervous then practice slowing down your talking, thinking about what you will say, and just taking a moment to breathe before you answer.  You should also make sure that you ask the interviewer some questions and give them a chance to tell you about the job, and themselves. After all, an interview is also a chance for you to find out if you would want to work there.

9- You are too quiet!

Just as talking too much is no good, only giving single word answers will also not be very useful.  Interviewers are generally nice people who are trying to get the best information out of each candidate so they can make an informed decision.  Prepare answers for the most common questions and use the interview to let the recruiter know what is good about you and what experience you have!

10- You don't know anything about the company!

You didn't research the company so you can't answer the company-related questions. They will think that you are not very interested in them, and you are applying just to apply! It would take time to research a company 20 years ago but now the Internet has made it very easy.  The information you are looking for is only a couple of clicks away so use it to make a better impression.

11- Focus on your Relevant Skills for the Job

If you have excellent computer experience and you can take a computer apart and put it back together in a matter of seconds (and it works) then you clearly know what you are doing and should make an effort to highlight your skills in the interview.  If, however, you are applying for a job as a PE Teacher this will not be relevant to the role.  Make sure that the skills that you make an effort to talk about are relevant.  Even better if you think you have more enhanced skills than most of the competition.

12- You get carried away or miss the point of a question

Interviews are nerve-racking for most of us, so there are occasions when you miss the point of a question.  Where interviewers have a good experience they will usually steer you back on a course or ask the question again in a different way to make sure they get the best answer out of you.  However, if you've missed an element of the question or were distracted, it is best practice to ask the interviewer to repeat the question so that you can be sure how best to answer it.

13- You thought a Weakness was a Strength

During the preparation for your interview you will probably practice answering, “What are your weaknesses?” and “What are your Strengths?”  Take some time to really think about your weaknesses and strengths, ask friends and colleagues what they think, or think back on previous appraisals for inspiration.  Be honest in each case.

It is possible to be able to answer the first question by talking about a weakness that you have overcome, and you can bring this up.  But it is also ok to have weaknesses – you are only human after all!

14- Take the opportunity to talk about the job role

An interview is not just about the recruiter finding out about you, it's also for you to see the building you may be working in, get an insight into the job role and the people you are likely to work for and with.  You will usually be asked, “Do you have any questions?” and make sure that your answer to that is “Yes.”  Talk about the field you might be working in, talk about the job role, talk about the recruiter themselves.  If you find common ground between you and the interviewer you'll be more likely to be remembered and this could be the factor that puts you higher against other candidates.

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