If you have ever left a job interview thinking, ‘I could have answered that question better’, you should know that you are not alone.
Even people with years of experience and strong skill sets do not always know how to sell themselves to hiring managers. Whether you are looking for a new job or have an interview coming up, it’s important to think about your interviewing techniques.
The best way to avoid the most common interview mistakes is to consciously decide not to make them. Here are five big interview mistakes to consider and avoid:
1. Displaying negativity
Being negative about your existing employer is one of the most common mistakes interviewees make.
Frustrations and clashes arise in all organisations so a potential employer needs to know that you can manage yourself through this rather than simply calling it quits every time frustrations arise. They will want to know how you would behave if you were part of their business. Would you help move people forward or be a negative influence?
2. Lack of confidence and poor interpersonal skills
Bad eye contact, lack of confidence in delivering answers and a weak handshake are typical mistakes made by interviewees. Interpersonal skills are important in most roles, so you need to make the effort to come across as self-assured even if you are nervous.
Related: 7 reasons why you didn't get the job
3. Lack of preparation
One of the biggest mistakes candidates make is failing to prepare sufficiently. Great candidates value their careers and work hard to manage them successfully. They would not simply read a company website and presume they know enough about the business.
It’s important to research the company culture as well as the challenges that the company is currently facing. Different things will matter to different people, but well-prepared questions will demonstrate that you have done your homework and are taking the interview seriously.
4. ‘We’ instead of ‘I’
A common mistake is candidates referring to their successes as something that ‘we’ did as opposed to ‘I’. This can leave the more astute interviewer with the impression that the candidate is potentially taking credit for a project/account that they only played a small part in, as opposed to something that they were solely responsible for.
The most important thing is to highlight your achievements and the role you played in successes honestly.
5. Not building rapport
In today’s market, shortlists are filled with individuals who are undoubtedly qualified to perform the role but the differentiator is almost entirely around one’s personality and interpersonal skills. This means that either subconsciously or consciously, you’re being assessed from the moment you enter the building.
If you are unable to build rapport with the people who pick you up from the reception area, make your coffee and interview you, you’re going to miss out. A sincere interest in the people you could be working with and the business and organisational culture is a necessity for any job interview.