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6 interview mistakes to avoid

You can put together the perfect CV and write a first-class cover letter, but that’s all irrelevant unless you get things right on the day and nail your interview. 

Whether it’s your first, second or your hundredth interview, going through the process can be seriously daunting, especially if it’s a role you’re really keen on. 

That’s why it’s best to be properly prepared to make sure you don’t fall foul of the typical pitfalls during an interview that are going to impact your chances of getting the job.

So, here are 6 interview mistakes to avoid, and if you do, there’s a good chance your upcoming interview could be your last. 

Poor body language

Our body can tell a story and give off an impression without us realising, so you want to make sure yours isn’t giving off the wrong one.

Keeping your body language is open, with no crossed arms or legs, makes you seem more approachable. Keep what you do with your face in mind also and try to maintain eye contact while the interviewer is speaking to you, no matter your nerves. 

For video interviews, sitting upright in your chair is a must as you don’t want to come across as too relaxed or nonchalant, and try to avoid looking at your face in the bottom corner. The record button is your best friend as part of your preparation – run through a couple of practice interviews and have a look back at how you present yourself.

Not doing your research

When you’re in the thick of a job hunt, it can sometimes be hard to remember every role you’ve applied for. So, when one comes back and offers an interview, you must research and remember why you applied. 

Go over the job ad, making note of the things that appealed to you (this is also a good time to make note of any questions that spring to mind), and why you fit the description. Then research the company to learn about its origin story and ethos so you’re prepared for any questions like “why do you think you’d be a good fit?”.

Winging it

If you’re an experienced interviewee, then you could be thinking “what’s another one?” and be tempted not to bother preparing. But every interview is different and failing to prepare is preparing to fail

You can start with company research and reading the interview instructions, but you also need to dig a little deeper. Take time to practice common and difficult questions, especially if they are something you’ve stumbled on before. 

If you’re doing a phone or video interview then make sure you test all your tech, clear your surroundings of distractions (especially noise), and make sure nothing is going to cause your internet to drop. 

Gong through your CV point by point

They would have already read through your cv before asking you for an interview, so this is a chance to tell them about the processes that go into the work that specifically makes you the best candidate for their job. 

Try not to simply regurgitate what’s on the CV, instead, use this as a framework to expand upon. Talk about the successes in current and previous roles, use stats to back these up where possible and do what you can to do build out a holistic view of who you are as a candidate.

Not preparing any questions

There’s nothing worse for interviews than candidates who haven’t thought of any questions to ask when it’s their turn.

Remember, an interview is as much a chance for you to learn about them as it is about you, so having well thought out questions that demonstrate your engaged and excited about the prospective of working for them is vital.

Focus on questions around development, team culture, ways of working and other aspects of the role that are important, not just things like annual leave and perks.

Trying to be someone you’re not

Perhaps the most important point of all is to be yourself and let your personality shine through. 

More and more companies are hiring based on the person, over them hitting all the criteria, and if the interviewer likes you, sees you have a passion for the role, and thinks you’ll fit in well with the team, then you already have a leg up on everyone else.