I have seen people get bounced from job interviews time and time again and usually it’s for a stupid reason. I have identified the common mistakes people make at interviews with practical tips on how to avoid them. Fasten your seat belts as you read, make up your mind to overcome these mistakes today.
1. Leaving Your Cell Phone On
This is a very common mistake but it’s really wrong. Sometimes we try to be smart by putting the phone on silent but it might backfire at times. When you are being interviewed, you are trying to stay calm and imagine your phone starts vibrating at that moment; it can disrupt and confuse you. It’s best to turn off your phone as soon as it’s your turn to be interviewed.
2. Focusing Too Much on Yourself
Whenever you are invited for an interview, always have it at the back of your mind that you are applying for that job to fill a vacant role in the organization and your major goal is to help the firm achieve its objectives. When asked questions like ‘why do you want this job?‘. Instead of saying things like ‘I need money‘ or ‘I want to boost my career‘, you should explain how you wish to help the organization with your skills and experience. Never put the focus on yourself, always answer questions in relation to the organization’s needs.
3. Showing that You Are Desperate
You are in an interview for the position of an accountant and they ask you, if all we have for you is a marketing job, will you take it? I know a lot of people will jump at the offer but never do that. There is a reason you were called upon which is the fact that the company needs an accountant. They want to be sure you know what you truly want. Also, never beg at an interview, it’s totally unnecessary, just try to be the best because the best always wins.
4. Arriving Late at the Venue
There are many excuses that people give for being late, excuses like ‘there is too much traffic’, ‘I missed the way’, ‘rain fell’ and so on. As far as the interviewer is concerned, there is no reason why you should be late and that’s true. You should always think ahead and leave for the interview possibly at least two hours before the time you normally should. Lateness is a sign of nonchalance and it doesn’t make you a good first impression.
5. Inadequate Preparation
A lot of people go to interviews without reading or doing any research about the company. You should be fully prepared; in fact you should rehearse your answers like the script of a play. If you truly want the job, you shouldn’t take chances.
Also Read: How to Prepare for Your First Job Interview
6. Inappropriate Dressing
A lot of people still make this mistake of thinking that they can wear whatever they want and still get the job if they perform; they forget that dressing is also a criteria for measuring performance. Even if you are applying for a field job, you should still dress corporately with a suit and a tie to any interview. It will give you an edge over other contestants.
7. Talking Too Much
Never talk too much in an interview; you might say something that will disqualify you. You should listen more and give brief and accurate answers unless you are asked to elaborate.
8. Not Knowing How Much You Are Worth
I used to work at an HR consulting firm. I have seen an HND holder receiving #80,000 and an Msc holder receiving #40,000 for the same position. Don’t be afraid to tell the interviewer how much you believe you are worth. Even if it is outrageous, they will only negotiate with you because they will feel that you really know what you’re doing. On the other hand, if you bring your value too low, the interviewer will rather not hire you because he thinks you don’t have anything to offer.
9. Over Familiarity
One of my friends some time ago went for an interview where she discovered that the interviewer is a friend of her former boss with whom she did her industrial attachment. She herself told me that she was sure of getting the job but guess what, she didn’t. She couldn’t answer some of the questions and turned the interview to an informal meeting. The lady who interviewed her must have observed she wasn’t taking the interview seriously but didn’t tell her because she didn’t really need to. Even if you know all the interviewers, remain serious because they will even expect more from you if anything.
10. Not Asking Questions
This is just as important as the rest of the interview. Not asking questions at times shows that you are not following or that you are ‘unserious’. Let me share my experience with you; I went for an interview a few years ago, when I got in and greeted, I was asked to have my seat and introduce myself. After introduction, the interviewer just asked me if I had any questions for them, I said a lot of nonsense that day and didn’t get that job because I was caught off guard. I couldn’t ask any question because I didn’t prepare any, so prepare your questions before hand, the good thing is that one question always leads to another.
I hope you learnt something, kindly drop your comment in the comment box below if you have some other common interview mistakes you want people to know about or if you have questions or feedback.