Even if you have a polished resume and great references, knowing what not to do during an interview is highly important to make that first killer impression. You might get passed over for someone less qualified and talented if you make a mistake during the selection process.
If you’re looking for ways to prove that you’re the right person for the job, then read on to find out the common interview mistakes that you should avoid during an interview process. It will improve your chances of nailing that job and help you avoid giving the impression that you are unqualified for it.
Common Interview Mistakes To Avoid
The following are some of the most common interview mistakes that job seekers should avoid to appear professional and qualified.
Don’t let on that you’re nervous.
Revealing that you are nervous in front of the hiring panel is not a good look. You might think it appears enduring and make you seem sincere but, it is not a good strategy during an interview. You need to portray yourself as a calm and composed person who can handle the pressure.
The employer expects that you seem professional and can handle stressful situations. Appearing super nervous during an interview will give the idea that you might not be ready to handle an office environment which gets stressful at times. So you need to be calm and fake it till you make it!
Not doing the research.
Please do your research before stepping into the interview; it is as simple as that. Put your detective hat on and find out everything about the company, its leaders, and even your hiring manager. Employers get impressed when knowing that you did the homework and put in the efforts to engage with the company. Know all the basics like,
- What the company does
- Its motto
- Role of the interviewer
- What is expected of you by the company?
Also, be prepared with a set of questions since the employer will ask you if you have any queries. Please refrain from asking generic questions. Prepare with good research as it will guide you to ask insightful and well-informed questions.
No one-word answers, please!
Answering in one word is one of the biggest interview mistakes to avoid. The employer wants to know how your work impacted the previous firm, so extensive accounts are expected.
For example, when you are asked about your previous role, instead of answering vaguely like, “I enjoyed working there”, you need to explain. Discuss how you dealt with various workplace challenges and what you learned as a result.
You must communicate your selling points to the interviewer. Describe how beneficial your contribution was to the previous company’s growth.
Remember to ask questions.
So at the end of the interview, the employer asks, ‘Do you have any questions?’
You would think it’s a formality and might say no. Big mistake!
It is not just a formality but another opportunity to shine. Keep in mind that you should not ask questions that can be easily answered by doing a simple Google search. It would be best if you were confident and prepared, so the questions create a flow of conversation, and the employer is comfortable answering them.
Come up with interesting questions that make you appear as someone who did their research and is well prepared.
Not asking questions is one of the most common interview mistakes that reflect an inability to think on your feet and a lack of engagement. For example, try questions like,
- What’s the area of improvement for the company?
- What makes the job challenging?
It will help in portraying that you are enthusiastic about the job and are putting in the effort.
Although job interviews are subjective, the above mentioned are some of the common interview mistakes to avoid. Apart from these, here are some tips to better yourself for the interview and prepare with all your might.
- It may not be right to judge a book by its cover, but your interviewer will do just that. Wear formal, neat, and clean clothing to make a good first impression. Prepare a night before by selecting a proper outfit and ironing it to perfection using Xabitat wall-mounted ironing board.
- Don’t be fashionably late; it is not a party. Arrive at least ten minutes earlier, as it makes you appear reliable and punctual. It also helps you compose yourself and take a breath before the impending conversation.
- Not turning off your phone before stepping into the interview room is another interview mistake to avoid. You might be just checking the time, but it appears rude, suggesting that you get distracted easily. If you need to take notes, carry an old-fashioned pen and notebook.
- Your body language also plays an important role as communication is more than just words.
- Make eye contact while you are speaking or listening.
- The handshake should be firm.
- Make sure to sit with a good posture.
- Avoid fidgeting as it will make you appear nervous. Amy Cuddy is a good reference resource for body language advice.
- When asked about your weak points, avoid answers like ‘I work too hard.’ It is such a cliché and actually sends the wrong message that you are not self-aware and unable to handle constructive criticism. Answer thoughtfully and explain what you are doing to improve on your weaknesses.
- If you are in a video call interview, make sure to give it the same weightage as if you are in the company office. Dress professionally and avoid distractions during the interview. Inform your family and friends about the interview, so they don’t barge into your room and create interruption.
Preparing for an interview might seem overwhelming, and faking confidence often helps in creating real confidence. Create a positive environment by making the other person feel comfortable and see how it reciprocates that helps you too. It’s normal to feel worked up before an interview, so make sure to avoid these common interview mistakes, and you will be ready to ace the job interview.