How to Avoid These 5 Common Interview Mistakes
Don’t Make These 5 Fatal Mistakes in Your Next Job Interview
Common Interview Mistake # 1
1. Criticise other people or ex-employers
Criticizing ex-employers or ex-employees could lose you the job there and then. People do not like whiners, however much it may be justified. Criticizing your past employer or employees is a very easy thing to do when your mind and heart have lost interest in your job. It’s easy to be negative about the people you work with, but this is not a forum for letting off steam and ranting on about an ex-employer or employee.
Interviewers are prospective employees do not want to hear anything negative from you.
If you really didn’t get on with someone, which after all is fairly common, avoid mentioning it. If in the unlikely event you are asked about any difficulties with ex-employees or your working relationship just deny any friction existed. Keep it general and do not talk about any person or position specifically.
Common Interview Mistake # 2
2. Disagree with the Interviewer
An interview is not the place for a high powered discussion about something you feel strongly about.
It is a tactic for some interviewers to challenge you and see how you respond, so you are on show as to how you handle this difficult situation they place you in. Simply acknowledge that there is a lot that can be said about that topic, and it’s a great conversation that you look forward to having one day once you’ve been placed in the job…..(always good to be positive).
If they continue on, then I would simply ask them a couple of questions that asked them to explain their point, and then simply raise your eyebrows and agree that there are such a wide scope of opinions, and it was interesting to hear theirs.
If you argue or disagree with the interviewer you will undoubtedly fall in their estimations. What is more if by arguing or disagreeing with them and then that results in that they do not like you, your chances of success are reduced to between very low and zero.
Keep all negatives aspects of the interview to a minimum. The aim is to get the interviewer to subconsciously nod their head and say YES.
Common Interview Mistake # 3
3. Being Too Confident or Overbearing
SOME Interviewers have fears about been shown up by new employee and automatically feel threatened and overpowered by new ‘talent’.
Due consideration to the person you are speaking with and an empathy that not everyone likes change or welcomes new people will prepare you for interviewers who fit into this category.
It helps to be respectful of the status quo, and not automatically assume that you can walk not a new position, and set major change in motion.
A POOR EXAMPLE to follow:
A hiring manager I was speaking with recently retold a story of a candidate coming in for a management level role and declared his 90 day blueprint for major restructure to ‘sort things out for the good of the company’.
Common Interview Mistake # 4
4. Being Modest
We have emphasized the need to show the prospective employer that you have the necessary attributes to do the job and bring additional benefits to the role. This takes a certain degree of boasting. This can be difficult for you if you are not accustomed to promoting your features.
We are brought up to believe that we need to be modest in order to fit in with the crowd. Modesty is fine in an interview as long as it doesn’t get in the way of expressing your attributes and skills to the full.
You need to express your career and work achievements in specific terms with relevant examples. Additionally you need to express your soft skills and attributes, again with relevant examples.
It is important to write these down and practice them. Make them sound real.
Sample Job Interview Answers
“..company x set the following sales target for the last 12 months. I was able to exceed these by 50%. I did this by improving my success rate for each lead, making more cold calls than the other sales executives and working weekends to close a number of those deals.”
Contrast this with the following statement which says the same thing….
“company x set the following sales target for the last 12 months. I was able to exceed these by 50%. I did this because I was better than all the other sales executives. Ask my ex-boss!”
It is fairly non-specific and also smacks of boasting. No one likes to hear someone needlessly boasting. Anyway you mentioned your ex-boss, does this mean you have already left the company and you are now unemployed or are you so sure of getting this job?
It is important to get the wording right and so write down each statement and practice it.
Have at least 3 achievements you can quite for each stage of your career. Practice them so that they sound natural and are not boastful.
You need to avoid meaningless phrases like I work hard and I am very efficient at my job, I am a good sales manager.
A prospective employer is looking for a sharp individual who can communicate precisely and effectively. The above phrases are woolly non-descript and convey little specific meaning. The interviewer then has to probe deeper.
What makes you a good salesman, what were your sales figures for the last 6 months
Your first question gave you the opportunity to list your main strengths. If ever there was a question with which you needed to practice a full and detailed answer, which lists your strengths and abilities, then this is it.
So having asked the question once, if you do not provide the benefits, the interviewer effectively needs to ask the same question again. So be full and specific in your answers. Avoid meaningless phrases. The interview is the one opportunity for you to
Common Interview Mistake # 5
When asked a direct question – always tell the truth. If you are caught contradicting yourself then you can wave goodbye to the job.
Of course if there is something you don’t want to discuss then don’t bring it up. Do not offer negative information. It is up to the interviewer to get the dirty facts. It is up to you to paint the rosiest picture possible.
Exaggeration is a grey area in interview techniques. Most people will try to embellish their skills, ability and importance to the organization. I strongly suggest not exaggerating anything where the facts can be checked.
Studies have shown that it is more important how you say something that what you say. Also the English language allows so much scope for delivering the same facts in a number of different ways.
That is why preparation is the key to success not only in what you say but how you present those words and how you present yourself. The actual facts of what you say become less important in interviews.