Thursday, July 30, 2009

Top 10: Interview Mistakes

Most of the time, potential job candidates are not aware of the mistakes they make before and during the interview. These small mistakes that might cost them a job.

Running Late Without Notice
Turning up late for the interview and never calling to say you are running late will not give a good impression to your potential employer. If you are running late, do inform your interviewer and apologize that you are running late and ask if it is possible for you to attend the interview a little bit late or just request for the interview to be rescheduled if that is not possible.

Of course, the worst that could happen which could quash your employment chances is your attitude when you do not even bother to turn up at an interview without calling.

Lack of Preparation
Preparation for an interview includes:

  • Research on the background of the company

  • Bring along an extra copy of your resumé and relevant supporting documents, just in case

  • Be prepared with the answers for possible common interview questions

  • Rehearse on your speech, clarity, confidence, etc. prior to the interview

In the event that you are required to attend an interview at short notice and you applied for a job with no company description stated in the ad, keep your cool and ask questions during the interview to know more about the company.

It is recommended that you carry an extra copy of your resumé in your working bag just in case you are called for a job interview during your lunch/tea break at short notice.

Lack of Confidence/Over Confidence
Lack of confidence could be perceived by potential employers as your lack of preparation; being nervous could also be giving the impression that you are trying to cover something or is lying. Being over confident may turn interviewers off as you may be viewed as being too big-headed or you may be viewed as a braggart who talks more than you deliver.

Talking Too Much
It is not wise to talk too much and fail to listen and understand the questions asked. Listen carefully to answer the questions asked, be clear and concise in your answers to show that you understood the question and are not just rambling for the sake of talking. Be specific and respond directly to the questions asked. Be careful with your selection of words and think before you say anything to decide if what you are going to say is necessary or appropriate.

Inappropriate Dressing
Avoid revealing clothes or being underdressed - stick to conventional dressing, i.e. mono colours and minimal accessories.

Body Language
Avoid weak or too strong handshakes, minimal or almost no eye contact with the interviewer and slouching when seated. Keep a straight back when seated and refrain from fidgeting or shaking your legs, twitching your nose, biting your nails or other signs that showed your nervousness. Take a deep breath to remain calm and be aware of your body language. Your body language tells your interviewers more about you than your speech.

Criticising or Slating Your Previous Employers/Company/Colleagues or Complaining About Your Day
No one likes a person who complains, keep in mind that it is not a recommended icebreaker. You are being interviewed to promote yourself as the best possible candidate for the post, not to criticise others or complain about the train/car that broke down on your way to the interview.

Lying or Concealing Information
Never attempt to lie or cover up any vital information, no matter how important you thought it was for you to conceal the information. You may land the job but how long it will be before you are found out?

Failing to Ask Questions
Ask questions to show that you are interested in the job, lack of enthusiasm is a killer of your chances of employment.

Money Talk
Never bring up talk on salary at the beginning of the interview. Only talk about salary or your employment package, i.e. remuneration, benefits, etc. when the interviewer asks you or the matter has not been brought up and the interview is near its end.