At Success we unfortunately see many candidates fail at interview stage; sometimes this is due to the individual not quite being the right fit but on other occasions it is due to a mistake that is absolutely avoidable.
Some mistakes, such as turning up late or getting the interviewers name wrong, are obvious but some are less obvious. Read on to find out what we rate as the top 3 avoidable mistakes made at interview.
The old adage that “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” applies to interviews, as it does everywhere else and yet so many candidates just do not put in enough effort.
Conducting a thorough piece of research in to the company and the person that you are going to be interviewed by is an essential step. If you are able to demonstrate knowledge of the company’s clients, products or services and ethos you will have shown that you have taken the effort to prepare yourself and that you are interested in the position.
Such effort is not just for the client either, you need to know if you want to work for this company and you need to be armed with any questions that you have. An interview should be a learning experience for you as well as the company and by asking intelligent questions you become engaged with the interviewer, which is often the differential between two otherwise identical candidates.
We would recommend that you take a folder with you that has a pen and paper inside that allows you to make notes and jot down important points. This will show your professionalism and that you are a serious candidate for the position.
You would be surprised by the number of candidates that call us in a panic 15 minutes prior to an interview to say they cannot find a company’s office. This puts them in an awful state of mind and reduces their chances of success; needless to say this does not happen to our candidates that prepare well!
Put yourself in an interviewers shoes for a moment and imagine their frustration when they ask a specific question and they receive an answer that a) does not address their point and b) rambles on for several minutes.
The two main reasons that a candidate may fall in to this trap are a lack of confidence and a failure to listen.
For lack of confidence please refer back to point no.1; thorough preparation will give you the best chance of being confident!
A failure to listen often stems from a candidate being overly eager to address their own key points. In this case the best advice is to slow down and wait for the right opportunity to put your case forward. Answer each of the interviewer’s questions concisely and in turn and if the main body of the interview does not cover any points you wanted to address you should have the opportunity to raise them at the end.
If the company is not prepared to give you the opportunity to ask questions and listen to your answers, do you really want the job anyway?
Obviously nobody ever lies in an interview, right? Unfortunately not!
Being dishonest does not just mean telling an outright lie; you must also avoid exaggeration and misleading statements.
First and foremost you will be found out eventually and secondly you could look very weak in an interview if you are probed further and are unable to stand up to deeper questioning. Once your answer has been exposed as dishonest it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get the interviewer to trust you.
It is far better to admit a weakness. An interviewer may mark it down in the “against column” but it may be outweighed by your strengths, which is seldom the case where dishonesty is concerned.