Those who have been to job interviews will know how horribly nerve wrecking it can be. However, if you are just starting out fresh from university, the initial interview can be very stressful as you are afraid of making mistakes that may kill your chances of landing that job you have always wanted. Fear not.
Here are the 11 cardinal mistakes that people make at interviews that dashed their hopes of getting that ideal job to prepare yourself mentally before you head off for your interview:
Mistake #1 – Late for the interview.
Lateness immediately puts the interviewer off. Not being punctual gives the impression of not being bothered about getting the job. The worst part is you are showing disrespect for the interviewer and his or her time. Don’t give excuses such as caught in the traffic or delayed by a flat tyre and expect understanding, chances are they won’t as you always have the option to leave home earlier.
Unless you have a valid reason for being tardy or unable to turn up at all due to a family emergency, sudden illness, do have the courtesy to contact the interviewer as soon as possible and try to schedule another interview if possible.
Mistake #2 – Can’t be bothered with your personal grooming.
Wearing scruffy clothes, T-shirts and jeans, skirts that are too short and skimpy, over accessorising, not shaving your beard, untidy and crazy hairstyles are generally a very bad idea at an interview. The employer is looking for someone to fill the position and they will like to know that they are hiring the person who will at least look the part. You may think that it is very cool to dress like a party animal but your employer is looking for someone with a serious attitude and some basic grooming to at least look presentable.
Therefore, make sure your clothes are clean and properly ironed so that you won’t look like you have just crawled out of bed. Hide any tattoos that are visible too!
Mistake #3 – Giving a limp hand shake.
How does it feel to shake the hands of a dead fish? It simply implies the lack of confidence and or insincerity and will immediately tell the interviewer what kind of a person they will be dealing with if they were to hire you.
Mistake #4 – Avoiding eye contact.
Shifting your eyes, looking at the ceiling or the ground, or constantly turning your eyes away instead of looking at the interviewer during your conversation implies a lack of confidence, rudeness and or insincerity.
Mistake #5 – Giving an arrogant impression.
Acting as if you are the greatest in the world and everyone is beneath you will immediately put anyone off. Nobody likes to talk with people who behave in this manner. There is absolutely no way to know everything unless you are God.
Mistake #6 – Touching and using your phone.
Mobile phones are major distractions during conversations. How do you expect the interviewer to believe that you are serious in wanting the job if you take calls and or send text messages while he or she is asking you about what you can bring to the company? The priority during a job interview is to answer the interviewer’s questions confidently and not allow any distractions to ruin your conversation.
Mistake #7 – Keep digressing the questions asked.
Who likes to talk to someone who keeps changing topics? Besides it is wasting everybody’s time, it is also tiring to listen to things that are irrelevant. This often will have given an impression to the interviewer that you lack focus.
Mistake #8 – Passing personal remarks.
Leave your casual remarks to yourself! It is not your place to comment on the interviewer’s dress sense even if he is dressed up in a bright yellow with white tie. A little formality is fine but keep the conversation focus on a strictly professional footing.
Mistake #9 – Telling lies!
A typical interviewer will be able to identify your lies within the first 10 minutes. Telling one lie will require another lie to cover your tracks. This will lead to more lies which the truth will definitely surface sooner or later as you begin to contradict your words.
Mistake #10 – Criticising yourself.
If you do not believe in yourself, who will? Being overly humble will never convince the interviewer that you are cut for the job. Saying that you have no experience will probably mess up or that you are bad at project management will show a lack of confidence. Always remember that interviews are opportunities to market yourself. Therefore, be positive in your statements.
Mistake #11 – Broach on the money subject.
Bringing up the topic on your salary before the interviewer has even managed to pronounce your name properly will send a signal that you are a calculating moneygrubber. You may be anxious to know the salary amount but leave that to the interviewer to broach on the subject if you do not want to appear as money minded, hence sending a signal that you care more about your pockets than the company’s welfare.