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The top five interview mistakes

  • July 1, 2018

You’ve applied for a series of new jobs, and finally secured the all-important interview for your dream role. While it may seem like you are just steps away from hearing the words ‘you’re hired’, the hard work starts now. You need to be fully prepared for the interview to ensure you have every chance of success. Often candidates will have worked really hard on job applications but let themselves down at the interview stage by either not preparing adequately or presenting a bad image. So what are the top five interview mistakes you need to avoid?

Not doing your homework

With the internet at your fingertips, there is absolutely no excuse for not doing your homework before an interview. Despite this, however, clients often tell us that a candidate didn’t get the job because they didn’t know even the basics about the company and role they applied for despite having all the skills required. Take the time to thoroughly research the business – look at the website for information about the history, values, and culture. Seek out information on social media to glean an insight into the type of work and activity the business does.
It’s also worth researching the person who will be interviewing you – you will be able to source information about their role and length of time at the business which will help you establish a rapport at the outset.

Too much talking, not enough listening

Another big mistake candidates make – often due to nerves – is talking too much and not listening to the questions being asked. Take the time to really take in each question and, if you are unsure of how to answer, ask the interviewer to repeat it. This will buy you some time and enable you to prepare an answer better. Candidates often go wrong by responding too quickly and going off on a tangent which means they haven’t given the interviewer the information they are seeking. Often this happens due to a combination of nerves and a failure to prepare. If you have researched properly you will not only be less nervous, but you will likely be able to answer the questions asked.

No questions

Another big no no is not asking any questions yourself. Almost every interviewer will factor in time at the end of the meeting for the candidate to ask anything about the role and company. Don’t make the mistake of not preparing questions in advance. Think about what queries will demonstrate that you are serious about the job and your progression within the company. Could you ask about the training and development opportunities or about the team you will be working with, for example? Don’t, however, make the mistake of asking about when your first pay rise will be or how many sick days you are entitled to!

Moaning about your current employer

Most interviewers will ask you about your previous role and employer. And regardless of why you left the company never make the mistake of criticising the people or business you worked for. No prospective employer wants to hear a potential staff member bad mouthing people they have worked with before – not only will it cause concern that you might do the same at their business, but it will also almost certainly move your application to the no pile!

Wrong attire

Even if you know that, if you secure the role, you won’t be expected to be suited and booted every day, don’t turn up to the interview in jeans and a t-shirt. Don’t however, go to the other extreme and turn up looking like you are about to go on a night out!

The interview is often the last stage of a lengthy application process. Don’t ruin your chances of securing the role you deserve by making the mistakes listed above. Preparation is key and remember, if you have been invited in for interview, it is because you have already demonstrated your suitability for the role. Good luck!

For more advice from the team, check out our other posts here. Or if you wish, call the office on 01772 259121 or email

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