Top four things to avoid in an interview

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When under pressure to secure the right role, candidates can commit a number of common interview mistakes, due to either nerves or lack of preparation.

As business partnering skills continue to move up on hiring agendas, being able to conduct yourself in a professional and considered fashion at interview can often be just as important as demonstrating your technical abilities.

 

 

“It’s an all too common occurrence that we see extremely talented candidates let themselves down at interview, either by not addressing their interviewer in the correct manner or properly communicating their desire for the role,” says Sally Martin, Director at Robert Walters.

We suggest the top things to avoid are:

It’s an all too common occurrence that we see extremely talented candidates let themselves down at interview, either by not addressing their interviewer in the correct manner or properly communicating their desire for the role

1. Showing off

When you’re in an unfamiliar environment and under pressure to impress, it can be easy to oversell yourself in a way that comes across as disingenuous. To avoid this, ensure you reflect upon your answers and monitor your body language throughout the interview, taking time to calm your nerves and construct your answers so that you appear confident but humble.

2. Fabricating answers

If you’re hit with a curveball question, try to avoid diving straight in with an answer, taking a moment to consider all elements of the question so that you can provide an honest and considered response. Often rushing in with an answer can lead to unnecessary fabrication, despite this being intentional or not.

3. Forgetting your manners

Forgetting some of the basic social graces during an interview can steer it in the wrong direction, even from the first point of contact. We suggest for you to;

  • Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early – arriving early will not only give you enough time to collect your thoughts, it will provide the breathing room you need to sign yourself in as well as navigate your way to the interview room
  • Stand up to meet your interviewer – if you’re already seated when the interviewer enters the room, make sure you stand up straight to greet them, keeping their eye contact as you address them
  • Firm handshake – when you first engage with your interviewer, make sure to give them a firm handshake, looking into their eyes to show your enthusiasm to be there
  • Thank them for their time – before the interview comes to a complete close, make sure you secure a moment to thank your interviewer for their time and for considering your application

4. Not asking questions

Posing questions before the end of your interview is a great way to demonstrate that you’ve fully considered the position as well as your potential fit within the business. This is a step which should not be missed. Likewise, asking questions at the correct times throughout the interview will stimulate a natural flow of conversation, demonstrating your ability to think critically as well as naturally engage with stakeholders.

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