Have you ever had a bad interview? Found yourself thinking ‘why did I do that?’ after you left? We’ve all been there. You finally got yourself an interview only to completely blow it at the last moment. Today, we’re going to talk about the top 3 biggest mistakes people make in interviews and how you can avoid them.
1.‘Why did you leave your previous job?’
One of the biggest mistakes people make in interviews is overreacting to this question. If someone asks you why you left your previous job remain calm and explain very simply the reason you no longer work there. Over-explaining can lead to making you look irrational or like you are trying to hide something. It’s okay to say ‘they didn’t pay me enough’ or ‘the role wasn’t right for me’! You don’t need to launch into a 5 minute speech about how they did X, Y, or Z to force you out of the door.
2.‘Do you have any questions for me?’
Unimaginative questions, or worse no questions at all, are one of the worst ways to end an interview. You should always prepare a list of at least 3 interesting questions for your interview ahead of time and have a few backup questions in case your planned ones are answered during the interview by accident. They need to be imaginative questions because the interviewer is likely to hear many boring or generic questions throughout their interviewing process and an original question that requires them to actually think hard about the answer will stand out and make you more memorable.
3. Not looking professional.
It’s a shallow world and unfortunately if you want to make a good impression at an interview, you have to look the part. This is not to say that you need to be some kind of hercules-esque adonis in your looks but at least wear a nice suit or smart working clothes and make sure your hair is tidy. If you’re a man, make sure you don’t sport a large scruffy beard to your interview, either (at least trim it so it’s tidy!). People who show up to interviews looking scruffy immediately cause a bad impression to the interviewers and put them off hiring that individual. Oh and for the love of god, make sure you shower before your interview.
It’s important to be confident in your interview but try not to confuse confidence with arrogance. Most people don’t like people who come across as ‘full of themselves’ and interviewers are no different. Be polite, humble and friendly but don’t shy away from the interviewer or say things about yourself that could be considered ‘self-depricating’. Remember, it isn’t about being in love with yourself, it’s about believing in your ability to succeed. Additionally, make sure your body language is open and inviting so that the interviewer is not intimidated or put off by you. Use a firm handshake and make as much eye contact as possible (but don’t stare them straight in the eyes the entire time, that could come off as creepy).
5. Not being prepared.
One of the biggest mistakes people make by far is a lack of preparation. Not knowing anything about the company when you go to your interview not only makes you look lazy and unprofessional, it makes it look like you just don’t care about whether you get the job. The employer wants to know that you are interested in their business, what they do and working for them long term, so appearing not to care is a massive no-no. Ensure that, before going to the interview, you visit their website and make plenty of notes about the company, the major contributors and high-level employees and what they produce/sell/provide to the customer.
Hopefully these 5 tips have helped you prepare for your next interview or figure out what went wrong in your last bad interview. As long as you avoid making these mistakes, you should feel reasonably confident that you have given a good interview and the fate of the role is with the employers now. As always, good luck!