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avoid mistakes at interview

The Top 7 Interview Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them

It’s not hard to make interview mistakes. In fact, the average applicant makes at least one of these mistakes. But with a little preparation, it doesn’t have to be you.

Here are the top 7 interview mistakes and how you can avoid them:

1. Tardiness

Tardiness for an interview is a huge mistake. Not only is it disrespectful, but it gives the impression that you don’t have respect for others and their time. If you’re late to an interview, you’re automatically putting yourself at a disadvantage. You’ve lost the interviewer’s attention and may have missed out on valuable information that could have impressed him or her.

If you’re late for an interview, apologize immediately and explain why you were late. Then offer to reschedule the meeting so that there won’t be any further inconvenience on either side.

If you’re running late because of circumstances beyond your control (such as traffic), call ahead or email the interviewer as soon as possible and explain what happened — then apologize again for making them wait longer than expected.

2. Dressing inappropriately for the role and company culture

Dressing inappropriately for the role and company culture. It sounds basic but many people still make this mistake — especially when they’re nervous — because they don’t do enough research about what’s expected from them during an interview process or what kind of professional image the company wants to convey to clients and customers. Ask yourself: What would my ideal boss be wearing? Do I look like that person? Make sure your appearance reflects professionalism, but also your personality

3. Badmouthing your previous employer

Badmouthing your previous employer. It’s tempting to trash-talk your old boss or company when you’re looking for a new job. But doing so can make you look unprofessional and less likely to get hired. Instead, focus on the positive things about your previous job and emphasise why it was a good fit for you.

4. Failing to research the company (one of the worst interview mistakes)

Before you begin the interview process, you need to do your research. This means researching the company, the industry and the role you’re interviewing for.

The more you know about what the company does, who they do business with and how they operate, the better prepared you’ll be for any question that comes your way.

It’s also important to do some research on yourself. You might think this is unnecessary because you’re applying for a job and know yourself pretty well already. However, it’s important to remember that hiring managers want to get a sense of who they would be working with if they hired you — so tailor your answers accordingly!

avoid mistakes at interview

5. Bringing up salary too early on

It’s tempting to start negotiating salary and benefits as soon as possible during an interview, but that’s not always the best idea. If you bring it up too early on in the process, it may give your interviewer reason to doubt your commitment or ability to stay with the company long term — especially if they decide not to offer you the job after all.

Instead, wait until after an offer has been made before discussing salary and benefits.

6. Interrupting the interviewer

Most people naturally start to talk over the interviewer when they think their answer is finished. Unfortunately, this can distract the interviewer from what they were saying or even cut them off mid-sentence. While it may be hard to keep yourself from speaking, try to wait until your interviewer has finished asking their question before starting to answer it.

7. Not asking questions

At the end of an interview, even if you already know this is not the right job for you, make sure to ask questions about the role, department or company that might help you decide whether it’s worth applying for similar positions at other companies in the future. If there was something you didn’t understand during your interview — such as what kind of projects or clients they work with — now is a good time to ask about it so that you can clarify any doubts before making your decision.

About PSi Talent – we can do more than just help prevent interview mistakes!

We sincerely hope that our list of interview blunders has been of some use to you. Of course, there are sure to be other “dumb things to do” out there, so we’d love to hear your own contributions in the comments. And if you’re a hiring manager, we hope that this article may help you find and retain top talent by showing you the most common mistakes made by new employees—and how to avoid them.

We’d love to hear your views on this.  Are you struggling with the skills shortage?  Tweet us @TalentPSi or follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed reading this blog, you may also find our Interview Tips for Candidates an interesting read.

PSi Talent has been the technical recruiter of choice for many companies across the UK and Europe since 2012. Our talented and specialist consultants work hard to ensure that any candidates we send you are not only a perfect match for the role but your business.  To discuss your recruitment needs please call us on 0116 464 5242.


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