Never have first impressions mattered more than when being interviewed for a job. It is essential to use this opportunity to showcase your best qualities and ensure that you are memorable for all the right reasons. Nerves do play their part in the interview process and everyone has areas that they could improve upon. However, it is often the most common errors that can mean the difference between getting the job and not getting the job!

Our advice? Avoid these common interview mistakes:

Arriving unprepared

Preparation before an interview is crucial to arriving confident and ready to answer the interviewer’s questions. Read up on the company’s background, its place in the market and its competitors, and familiarise yourself with its key team members. Make sure that you fully understand the job role, as failing to do so will make you look uninterested.

Prepping for an interview can take many forms and research into the organisation is just one of them. Being prepared also means figuring out how you are going to get to your interview, planning your route and factoring in any delays you may encounter. Sometimes delays are unavoidable and if the circumstances are out of your control, they should understand. Take the details of your interview contact with you, so you can let them know if you are going to be delayed.

Wearing the wrong clothes

Being well presented is a must, so choose your outfit carefully. Knowing the type of company, you have applied to should give you an idea of the expected dress code. However, if in doubt always go too formal than not formal enough. You need to make sure that you look the part and feel confident.

The balance of talking too much or not enough

Learning to get the right balance between talking too much and talking too little can be a challenge. Taking part in practice interviews with family or friends can really help to ensure that you give the right amount of information. It’s important to sell your skills and experience without ‘waffling’.

When the interviewer asks a question, pause for a couple of seconds, take a breath and gather your thoughts before responding. If you’re talking too much or too fast, you also run the risk of talking over or interrupting the interviewer.

Employers understand that nerves play a part in the process, so if your mind goes completely blank politely ask for a couple of seconds to gather your thoughts or ask if it’s convenient to come back to the question at the end, once you’ve had some time to think.


Make sure you read Part Two next week!

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