5 Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid

There are some very simple mistakes that candidates make which I believe can be avoided as they stand a chance of ruining your chances of getting hired:

#1: Reporting late to an interview and failing to communicate in advance
We all know that sometimes, life happens. Things may happen beyond your control that may lead to you reporting late. However, it’s common courtesy to call in and excuse yourself. You don’t necessarily have to give details about what’s happening but at least notify the potential employer that you’ll be late. I recently invited someone for an interview at 10am but she showed up past noon. It’s actually rude and certainly gives the potential employer a sneak peak of what to expect in future.

#2: Getting too personal during interview
This usually happens when one is asked the ‘tell me about yourself’ question. Sometimes we get so comfortable we start to share our very private information. It is one thing to try and impress an interviewer, but it’s another to lay your private life history on the table. It could be used against you. Always keep it professional.

#3: Failing to conduct a background check on the company
Conducting a background check on the company you are interviewing with prior to the interview gives the impression that you are actually interested. However, when an interviewer asks you what you know about the company and you begin to stare at the roof and stammer, it’s a sign that you are not proactive. Take time and do the due diligence before coming.

#4: Poor dresscode
We have always been told that we need to dress for the occasion. The ‘my dress my choice’ slogan unfortunately doesn’t apply in interviews. You may say that your dressing doesn’t necessarily indicate the kind of person that you are, that’s true. However, before I know the real you, I see the outside of you. Good grooming is key; brush your teeth and ensure you smell nice too. First impressions really count in interviews and you only have one chance to give the first impression. Depending on the job you are interviewing for, strive to dress the part.

#5: Badmouthing your former/current employer
In the end, we all want to impress the potential employer but in the process, we paint our former/current employer as the devil. The truth is that every company has its own issues, including this one you intend to join. If you work there long enough, you will find more than one thing that you will be unhappy about. So instead of focusing your energy on irrelevancies, market yourself to the potential employer as the best candidate in the midst of all the attendees.

Following the above does not guarantee you the job, but it increases your chances of landing one. So the next time you get invited to an interview, arrive on time or earlier, conduct a background check on where you are going, dress the part and keep the conversation professional. And do not forget your most important accessory: CONFIDENCE.


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