No matter how great your application is and how suited your profile is to the job requirement, the interview will typically be the final make-or-break decision. Most interviewers do understand that candidates are nervous and will falter somewhere along the interview. However some mistakes are complete deal-breakers and if you want to avoid bombing the interview, make sure you avoid these 10 common interview mistakes:
Showing up late would make a bad first impression. It would not only reflect irresponsible and laid back attitude, but also disrespect towards the interviewer’s time. Plan to reach the interview venue well in time, accounting for traffic on the way. In case of an unavoidable delay, make sure you communicate this to the interviewer well in advance.
Not dressing appropriately
Even before you greet the interviewer, he/she has already formed a judgment about you based on your appearance.
Preparing for an interview will help you be more confident while answering questions. Preparing includes researching the company, the job description and the interviewer’s background, knowing your resume at the back of your hand and anticipating and preparing for possible interview questions.
“Most interviewers do understand that candidates are nervous and will falter somewhere along the interview. However some mistakes are complete deal-breakers and if you want to avoid bombing the interview, make sure you avoid these 10 common interview mistakes”
Bad-mouthing your previous employer or boss
You can expect to be asked about why you want to leave your current job, but refrain from speaking ill about your company or boss. You will only end up portraying yourself as negative and unprofessional. Frame your answer in a positive light by speaking about looking for more responsibilities, challenges, career growth etc.
While most interviewees tend to exaggerate a little to portray themselves positively, remember that there is a fine line between a minor embellishment and an outright lie. If you are lying about your education, employment history, skills, salary, job responsibilities etc., you will likely be caught during the background verification and reference check. Even if you somehow manage to get away with it and land the job, you run the risk of getting fired if you get caught out later.
Ignoring body language
Often interviewees are under the assumption that interviewers are more focused on what they (candidates) speak, rather than on how they speak. But in fact, the recruiter tries to understand the interviewee first by his/her body language.
Asking irrelevant / immature questions
The quality of questions you ask the interviewer reflect greatly on your capabilities and seriousness towards the job. In no case should you be asking “non-serious questions” like work timings, number of holidays per year etc.
Not bringing required documents
Make sure you are carrying 3-4 copies of your resume with your latest passport-sized colour photographs and cover letter since you may not know how many interviewers you would be required to meet. Also keep a copy of the job description handy for your reference. It is also a good practice to bring additional documents that support your resume such as reference / recommendation letters, degree certificates, extra-curricular certificates, appointment letter and last increment letter from your current organization, last salary slip and a portfolio of your work if this relevant to the job you are applying for (architecture, advertising, design etc.). Finally have a paper and pen ready to take notes.
Losing your cool
Occasionally interviewers test candidates by subjecting them to “stress interviews” to see how they perform under pressure or respond to blunt / negative remarks about themselves. It is important to stay calm and composed and maintain a level tone. Do not under any circumstances become arrogant or disrespectful.
Not keeping your phone on silent
A ringing cell phone can indicate that you are not serious about the interview or that you have more important things than this job. You may leave your phone on vibrate mode, but this also causes a buzzing noise and may distract you in the middle of an answer. It is best to keep you phone switched off, but if this is not possible, at least do not keep it on the table or in your pocket but away from you in your bag.
Of course there are other mistakes that can affect the interview – chewing gum, glancing frequently at your watch, nervous habits such as shaking a leg, not maintaining eye contact, fidgeting, rushed speech etc. No interview goes off perfectly smooth from start to end, but instead of focusing on delivering a perfect interview, if you ensure you avoid these common mistakes, you will be stand a far better chance of making it to the next round.