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8 Common interview mistakes and how to avoid them

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​What shouldn’t you do at a job interview? WRS take a look at some of the most common job interview mistakes and offer advice on how to avoid them!

1. Not being fully prepared

Start your preparation a few days before your interview. Research the company by looking at their website, social channels and press releases. Get familiar with your CV and prepare for possible interview questions.

Avoiding last minute prep will help you remain as relaxed as possible the night before, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep so that you are fresh and energised for your interview, and ready to make a great impression on your interviewer.

Plan ahead, research the location of the interview and plan your route. Try to arrive no more than 10 minutes early, it suggests good time management skills, and respect for the company, the position, and even your interviewer. Turning up late to an interview gives the impression that you are not enthusiastic about the position even if you are.

Make sure you’ve eaten and are well hydrated before the interview, a trip to the toilet just before you get there will mean that you are comfortable and able to give complete focus to your interviewer.

2. Don’t bring up salary

Unless the interviewer broaches the subject, you shouldn’t discuss salary on your first stage interview. The same applies to benefits such as holidays, flexible working and company perks. Save these topics for subsequent interviews.

3. Be confident, not arrogant

According to a recent survey by CV library a staggering 84.9% of interviewers describe overconfidence and arrogance as a job interview turn-off. It’s important to be confident and to give the recruiter proof of your achievements and abilities, rather than walking into the interview like you’ve already got the job.

One of the best ways of doing this is to give your interviewer figures, stats and facts from your previous work experience, showing them unequivocal evidence that you get results and why you’re a strong applicant for the role.

4. Don’t criticise your old job

Often the interviewer will ask you why you are thinking about leaving your current role. If you say you hated your line manager or the company it may make the interviewer doubt your motivation for the position and your attitude. Avoid being critical, try saying that you want a new challenge or that you wish to be part of a bigger or smaller company, these are perfectly understandable and suitable reasons.

5. Don’t be distracted by your phone

Avoid being tempted to use your phone at the interview, leave it in your car. Or put your phone on silent and put it away in your bag. Texting, or taking a call during your interview is not only rude and disruptive, but it sends a clear message to the hiring manager that the interview is not your top priority.

Don’t be tempted to look at your phone when you’re waiting to go into your interview. Instead, pickup some company literature and read through it whilst you wait or look at any marketing material/corporate messages on the wall. This makes a far better first impression.

6. Don’t lose focus

If you feel like your attention is slipping, try to make every effort to stay engaged. If you’re feeling tired try to take in deep breaths and sip some water to re-hydrate. Remember to keep eye contact and make an active effort to listen. 
Not listening could lead to you misunderstanding the question and giving a poor answer. Don’t let yourself zone out during an interview. Your potential employer will question your ability to remain focused during a day on the job. 

7. Don’t ramble on

Keep your answers concise, no matter how welcoming or friendly the interviewer seems. An interview is a professional situation so don’t get side-tracked and start talking about your personal life too much.

8. Not asking any questions at the end

At the end of the interview the hiring manager will always ask if you have any questions. Surprisingly, the most common answer to this question is no. This is a missed opportunity to find out more about the company and to highlight your interest in the position and reinforces your suitability as a candidate. Ask questions related to the job, the company and the industry. Don’t ask questions that you should have covered in your research!

For more advice, take a look at our interview dos and don’ts blog.