Avoid the Top 10 Interview Mistakes
Avoid the Top 10 Interview Mistakes
by Rosmadi Mahmood

For many, the interview is the single most stressful part of the job search process. Any number of things can go wrong, and a big part of being successful is avoiding simple mistakes. Here’s a top ten list of the most common interview mistakes:

1. Arriving late

Don’t give a weak first impression even before the start of the interview. Lateness shows lack of respect and poor time management skills. After scheduling the interview, find out the distance and directions to the physical location. Don’t assume you “know how much time it takes”. Being late to an interview adds stress and interviewing is already stressful enough.

2. Under-dressing

Dress for success is a common phrase, but a lot of candidates do not take it seriously. Unless the company you are interviewing with instructs you otherwise, wear business professional clothing. Remember that everything – your appearance, your tone of voice, your conduct – contributes to the impression (positive or negative) that you make. Be presentable – wear a pressed shirt, a tie and polished shoes.

3. Not being prepared

This interview could be a significant milestone in your career. Re-read the relevant version of your CV and the job advert, just before the interview. You’d be surprised how many people can’t remember what they wrote on their CV.

Also, be familiar with the job description so you can draw on your experiences, talents, strengths and abilities to connect with the company needs. Highlight how you’re suited to that particular job.

Not to forget, make sure you’ve brought with you everything you were asked for. This include all of your essential educational certificates as well as personal portfolio (if any).

4. Failure to research the company

As a general rule, the more famous the brand, the more they will expect you to have done your homework. Researching the company shows you’re serious about the job.

Do your homework before the interview; f ind out about the company’s past, vision, competitors, achievements, numbers, etc. Some companies even have their candidate expectations somewhere on their website.

Study all these information in detail. Nothing communicates disinterest like a candidate who hasn’t bothered to do pre-interview research. On the flip side, the quickest way to a good impression is to demonstrate your interest with a few well thought out questions that reflect your knowledge of the organisation.

5. Lying

Be yourself and be honest! Don’t pretend to understand a question or train of thought if you don’t. The interviewer will pick up on this. If you don’t know an answer, say so. Relax and be yourself.

6. Criticising your past boss or coworkers

The fastest way to talk yourself out of a new job is to say negative things. You should never talk negatively about your current position, the industry, people that you’ve work with and previous nightmare dilemmas. Interviewers are interested more in how you overcome these challenges. Anything negative you say about any topic will reflect negatively on you. If there is something you need to express that is negative, say it in positive way.

7. Lack of confidence and enthusiasm

Lack of confidence can be a big turn off. If you appear too nervous, the interviewer will think that you’re not confident enough to do the job. If you are serious abour getting the job, you’ll need to sell yourself as a representative of the company. Show yourself in a way they would feel proud of working with.

Make the employer feel that you are excited and interested in the job opportunity rather than just coming to the interview to see what’s out there.

Maintain eye contact, greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake (not too weak, not too strong), and show common courtesy. Don’t be afraid to display your passion for the job/industry and to show confidence.

8. Not listening

You must read the interviewer’s gestures and tones and respond accordingly. Focus on the question that is being asked and don’t try to anticipate the next one. It’s OK to pause and collect your thoughts before answering a question. Give a targeted response to what the interviewer has asked. Be clear, concise and to the point. Don’t expand in endless explanations.

9. Not asking meaningful questions

You don’t have to talk at all times in the interview. It is not only okay, but also essential to ask the interviewer some questions. Have at least three or four intelligent questions to ask him or her. Interviews are an exchange of information, and not coming in with questions shows that you did not prepare for the whole interview.

10. Not following up after the interview

Calling or sending a note after the interview is your way of showing your appreciation. It is a direct way of telling the company that you are truly motivated and want this job.

About the Author Article written by Rosmadi Mahmood, Editor, Jobs DB Singapore Pte Ltd. He can be reached at rosmadi@jobsDB.com.sg