Common Interview mistakes – Candidate
A great CV is what got you invited to the interview. You can be assured that all your references have been checked. To be invited to an interview is exciting. Here are a few common mistakes made during the interview process which could jeopardize our dream job.
- You have not prepared for the interview
Being unprepared for an interview is like going to war without a gun, you will not “survive”, in the figurative sense of course. It is essential to have a copy of your CV on hand should the interviewer ask for it.
Proper research on the company you are applying to will give you an understanding of how your values compare with theirs. Is this an organisation you can align yourself with? Highlight your skills, relevant knowledge and convince the interviewer that you can be an asset to their organisation .
You need to stand out from the crowd. Your passion for the industry in which you are applying (e.g. Veterinary) should be evident to allow the employer to visualise you in the position.
- Not dressing the part
DRESS TO IMPRESS! I can not stress enough the importance of proper grooming.
You only have a few seconds to make a good first impression. Ensure that you are dressed appropriately, properly groomed and friendly (not overly though). If you look good, you will feel good and your confidence levels will be elevated.
Avoid too much makeup, hair spray and perfume. If you are a smoker, it is best to ensure you don’t indulge just before the interview.
- Poor body language
Although you may be dressed to impress, if your body language shows that you are uninterested or need to be somewhere else, all may be lost. Look confident, stay relaxed and ensure regular eye contact with your interviewer. Greet with a firm handshake and sit with a good posture. Try not to show that you are nervous by.
- Not Punctual
Arrive a few minutes early – experts recommend about 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time This indicates that you're organised, reliable and eager. In addition, it allows you to take some time to compose yourself. Use the restroom and prepare for the impending conversation. It does not sit well with the interviewer if you are late and look flustered.
You may be tempted to arrive very early, but don't as it may inconvenience your interviewer. Ensure that you know exactly where to go, who you will meet, and what you need to take along.
- Using your cell phone
Use of a cell phone during an interview is an absolute NO NO!. Don’t even have it out as it may be distracting and seem rude if to the interviewer. Ensure it is on silent mode not to interrupt the interview. If you need to take notes, use old-fashioned pen and paper.
- Criticising past employers
Nothing screams bad attitude like negatively criticising your current or previous employers. The interviewer will certainly wonder what you will say about him/her or the company when given the opportunity.
Experts have said that bringing up the salary conversation too early puts you in a negative negotiating position. Rather wait until you have been offered the position before discussing the salary and benefits. You do not want the interviewer to think that you are only interested in the benefits and perks. However, when the topic is raised you should be prepared to discuss your salary expectations.
- Time for questions
When offered the opportunity to pose questions to the interviewer, try not to ask questions that have obvious answers and similarly a lack of questions may show disinterest.
Most interviewers will conclude the interview by asking “Do you have any questions for me?” Not making use of this opportunity is a fatal mistake. It may send a message that you are not particularly interested or that you are so arrogant to think that you know all there is to know about the company.
It is recommended to ask questions throughout the interview in to keep the conversation flowing.
- Pointless information
Telling rambling stories wastes the interviewer's time and decreases the opportunity to address your key concerns during the conversation. Good communication skills are necessary for most positions. The interviewer is likely to assess your ability to speak with clarity and brevity during the interview.