Did you miss part one of this blog last week? You can read it here.

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:

Criticising previous employers or colleagues

Complaining about colleagues and drawing attention to the negative aspects of your previous or current job is a huge no-no! This can give employers the wrong impression about you and could make them question what you would say about them in similar circumstances.

No matter the reason for you leaving your previous or current employment, always be diplomatic. Instead of highlighting the mistakes of others, emphasise the positive steps you took to overcome them. This shows how proactive you can be.

Failing to ask questions

As the interview comes to an end, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions you would like to ask them. Never say no! This is your opportunity to get answers to your queries about the role and the company. Asking a couple of relevant questions shows your interest in the role; ask about any current major projects your team is working on, progression opportunities or where the company sees itself in five years’ time.

Avoid asking how much paid leave you are entitled to and how soon you can book holidays or if you can work from home. Also avoid asking a question if the answer has already been covered during the interview. Prepare at least four questions; that way you have always got a backup!

How to succeed at interview

Try to relax and show your natural personality; the employer will get a much better feel of how you will fit into their team if you do. Take comfort from the fact that if you are being interviewed, the organisation is already impressed with what you have to offer.

Enthusiasm and a positive attitude go a long way and instantly make a more appealing candidate. Throughout the interview, reiterate your motivation for the role and the company. Employers like forward thinking people, who can commit so talk about the future of the company and your role within it.

Lastly, observe the basics. It can be easy to underestimate the power of good manners, regular eye contact, a firm handshake or a smile. Be polite to everyone you meet, as you never know who might be on the selection panel!

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