Job interviews are a nerve-wracking experience and when we’re feeling on edge it’s easy to make mistakes or say silly things. Although a potential employer is unlikely to penalise you for being nervous, there are some things that they deem to be unacceptable and if you do them, it very well could cost you the job.
According to a survey carried out amongst employers, here are the top 10 mistakes candidates make in job interviews:
Lack of enthusiasm – if there’s one thing you really need to remember when attending a job interview, it’s to be enthusiastic. As well as coming across as passionate about the company and the role, think about the message that your verbal and even non-verbal communications are sending out. Be attentive, sit up straight and actively participate in the conversation.
Using your phone – getting your mobile phone out at a job interview is a big no-no. Unless you have a very important reason for having your phone on, turn it off. If you do need to keep your phone on, explain this to the interviewer at the beginning.
Dressing inappropriately – the first thing an interviewer will judge you on is your appearance so make sure it counts. Even if you’re interviewing at a casual company, always go in suited and booted on your first interview.
Not being prepared – answering questions incorrectly or incompletely will come across as if you haven’t prepared and you’re not enthusiastic. Although nerves can get the better of us, try to prepare as much as you can beforehand to prevent this from happening.
Being negative about previous employers – you don’t want to be seen as someone who badmouths previous employers so regardless of why you left your last job, keep it positive.
Talking too much or not enough – it’s important to get the balance right in job interviews and remember that the person interviewing you is trying to assess whether or not they could work with you. Be sure to engage in conversation but don’t be overbearing.
Bad body language – failing to make eye contact, poor posture or a weak handshake can make you appear under-confident, anxious or like you have something to hide.
Not providing specific examples – interviewers hear pretty much the same thing from every candidate so if you want to set yourself apart from everyone else, it’s important to back up your answers and provide specific examples.
Lying – when you’ve seen your dream job it may be tempting to embellish your CV a little if you’re lacking a few of the skills required. Lying during an interview is actually a potential legal liability to you and it could lead to your termination or even a lawsuit so it’s not worth doing.
Not following up – if you’re keen on the job then ensure that you make this known. If you’re liaising directly with the employer, drop them an email to thank them for their time and tell them you’re keen on the position. If you’re going through a recruitment agency, phone them straight after the interview and let them know you would like to take it further.