Accessability Links


Wednesday 30th October 2019

Leaving an interview knowing that you have not performed to the best of your ability is not a good feeling.

There's no reason to have an interview nightmare. Make sure you know how to avoid these common mistakes...

Not knowing about the role…

Prepare for an interview by finding out all that you possibly can about the role you’re applying for.

There’s nothing worse for hiring managers than being presented with a candidate at interview stage who clearly has no idea about the role they’re applying for.

Study the job spec. If you’re unsure about anything don’t be afraid to ask your recruiter. Any decent  recruiter will  know the roles they hire for inside out, so will be happy to help you out and advise you accordingly.

Not knowing about the company…

A common, detrimental error a lot of candidates still make is to not research the company.

These days candidates are spoilt for choice with outlets they are able to find out information about the companies they are interviewing for. So there's no excuse, do your research.

Find out the company’s history, milestones, values, services and who their customers are. As well as paying attention to the company’s presence over social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. What have they been up to? What blog posts have the posted recently? Impress your interviewer with just how much you know about their company.

By doing your research it will also give you a better stance on how much you actually want to work for the company. You may do your research and realise that the company isn’t for you, or you may find it makes you more excited and determined for a potential future with the organisation.

Not knowing why you want the job - show enthusiasm…

Taking the previous points into consideration will help you find the answer to ‘why you want the job’.

A lack of enthusiasm is a real turn off for employers. Why would you want to employ someone who lacks enthusiasm, and doesn’t even know why they want the job?

If you really want the job and the interviewer asks you 'why?',  you need to be prepared to give an answer.

This also comes hand in hand with body language. Try not to use closed body gestures, this creates the impression that you’re closed off.

Not explaining, how!

So, on your CV you will have stated that you possess certain skills. A lot of the time your interviewer will need a lot more convincing than the writing on the paper to be in confidence that you do in fact have the skills and attributes you say you do.

For every skill you state, have a story that demonstrates a time you have achieved the results you wanted, down to these skills and attributes you have. Be prepared to talk about these.

Badmouthing previous employers

You may have had some unpleasant experiences in previous working environments. It's important not to delve into the nitty gritty of why your experience was particularly bad, especially if it puts you at risk of bad mouthing your previous colleagues, or talking about how much you hated your boss. This has the potential to show you in a negative light, so avoid where possible.

Not asking questions…

At the end of an interview, there will be the option for the candidate to ask the interviewer questions. Whilst we say, ‘the option’, there really isn’t an option but to ask questions.

Not asking any questions displays to the interviewer a lack of interest from the candidate’s side. So it’s really important to ask questions.

Examples of things you could ask questions about include: progression, company culture, or upcoming projects. Avoid questions about salary and benefits (especially at first stage interview).

Obviously if you plan to ask questions and then the interviewer actually answers all the questions you had before you ask, let them know this, and maybe give examples of the questions you were going to ask.

Not following up…

Don’t be afraid to follow up after an interview. 

The people who are interviewing you are busy people, therefore it may take them a while at times to give feedback. By grabbing the bull by the horns and emailing and ringing to ask for feedback it shows that you are pro-active, and ultimately, that you are interested in the role.

Forgetting the basics…

Punctuality – Don’t be late. Know where it is you have to be and make sure you get there, account for any problems that you may encounter on your way and make time for that. Lateness is always a no no. However sometimes, things do happen which may result in you being late, if it looks like you may be late, let your interviewer know as soon as possible. 

Dress code - dress in a professional manner. Be clear of the dress code before the interview.

Be professional - Be yourself. But keep in mind you are in a professional environment so ensure that you try to keep the slang you may use with your friends at a minimum.

Don't dwell on your mistakes...

Mistakes do happen, after all we're only human. Probably the most detrimental of mistakes to make would be to give up after having made an interview mistake or being rejected from a role. Ask for feedback from your recruiter and understand what went wrong, work on it, move on and try again! You will gain confidence with every interview you take part in, which will allow you to be better each time.

Keep these points in mind when preparing for an interview and see if they help you. Have you had an interview nightmare? How did you overcome it, tweet us @AmsourceTech.

Read more careers advice blogs here.

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