How you perform in a job interview is arguably the most important factor in determining whether or not you secure the job you want.
In our experience, there are five key mistakes commonly made in job interviews. And if you can avoid these mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to interview success.
1. Not researching the organisation before the interview
Researching the company you’re applying to probably seems like a basic step when looking for a job, but we still see a number of job seekers who don’t do this thoroughly enough. It’s really important that you can talk confidently and intelligently about what your potential employer does. You should know specific facts about the organisation, including:
their history, financial position, mission and products/services the market in which they operate their main competitors.
2. Talking generally about why you like the organisation
If you’re asked why you’d like the role or what you admire about the company you are applying to, don’t give a generic answer. If you do, it could mean that you come across like you’re are looking for any role in your industry as opposed to that particular job, which will put off employers.
Instead, you should be enthusiastic and talk specifically about the aspects of the organisation that appeal to you, such as its products or reputation, or the key responsibilities of the role.
3. Not knowing your cv in detail
If you don’t know what’s on your CV and can’t talk about it confidently, it’s much harder for the interviewer to find out more about what you have and haven’t done in the past. Don’t assume that just because the information is in your CV, interviewers won’t ask questions about your background, including your responsibilities in previous roles and educational results.
Instead, you should review your CV before your interview and practice how you will respond to any potential questions about the details you’ve provided. Don’t forget to describe how your accomplishments relate to the role you are applying for. Review your CV before your interview and practice how you will respond to any potential questions about the details you’ve provided. Don’t forget to describe how your accomplishments relate to the role you are applying for.
4. Speaking negatively about previous employers or roles
We’ve seen a number of job seekers ruin their job prospects by making derogatory remarks about their current or previous employers and experiences. You should never talk negatively about a previous (or current) company, manager or role, no matter how tempting it is. Try to find the positive aspects of your employment history and focus on these instead.
5. Being too familiar with the interviewer
Don’t fall into the trap of being too familiar with your interviewer/s. It’s just not appropriate in a job interview. While it’s important for you to be friendly, engaging and to demonstrate your interpersonal skills, you must always conduct yourself with professionalism, even if you feel you have a good rapport with the interviewer.
For more tips on how to prepare for a job interview, download the Robert Walters Interview Guide or find out what your worth by downloading the Robert Walters Salary Survey app.