We’ve all been there. Sweaty palms, heart pounding – waiting to be called into the biggest interview of your life. It’s true that a lot can go wrong in an interview, even if you get the basics right (do your research, dress appropriately, arrive on time).
There are lots of factors that could affect the success of your interview; many of them out of your control. Ensuring you avoid these six massive interview mistakes is a good start though!
Blurting out negative comments about former employers won’t help convince your interviewer to hire you. They won’t perceive your complaints about a previous role as compliments about their workplace, it will just create the impression that you’re indiscreet.
However horrible your previous experiences have been, try to focus on the positives and what you managed to achieve despite not having a great time.
While it’s important to showcase your flexibility and ability to work with different people, avoid being too accommodating or you’ll risk appearing like a people-pleaser.
Having professional, informed opinions and expressing them when asked will show your interviewer that you have a genuine interest in the industry you’re applying to be a part of.
Your interview is an opportunity for you to sell yourself, but an employer also wants to know that you’re a good fit for their team.
Find the balance by focusing your answers on how their company will benefit from hiring you.
If you say the wrong thing, or even feel like you’ve disappointed your interviewer, don’t panic – you can use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills.
Pause, admit you made a mistake or don’t know the answer, and just try your best to show that you’re not entirely clueless (which we both know you’re not!)
Try phrases like “I’m not entirely sure, but from my experience…” and “That’s an area I’m currently unsure on but would like to learn more about.”
As much as you love the idea of playing FIFA in work, using a fancy coffee machine or the amount of paid-holiday on offer, it’s more important that you express your interest in the actual role you’re applying for.
Perks are great though, and there’s no harm in telling your interviewer that you think early-Friday finishes are fantastic. Just make sure they know you’re much more excited about the job description.
…or even stretch the truth – you will be found out. Your interviewer is only a Google search or phone call away from discovering that you aren’t actually responsible for a 400% increase in web conversions at your last job.
Even if your truth-stretching goes uncovered, it could come back to haunt you if you get the job and find yourself struggling to live up to the expectations you set by lying to your new employer. You’ve made it to the interview stage, so just be honest!