about 5 years ago
Tales Of a Recruitment Consultant Vol. 2 - Costly Interview Mistakes
Even though you have a perfect CV with exceptional experience and impressive achievements, you could be making amateur mistakes in your interview that could stop you from being successful for the role. It’s a very competitive market out there, so every last detail and mannerism counts in an interview.
Here are some of the most common mistakes made in interviews:
Being Too Late (or Too Early)
As recruiters, we have heard every late excuse under the sun, and saying you were stuck in traffic falls on deaf ears. If you are worried that traffic could be an issue, you include that into your commute and plan around it.
Obviously, being too late is far worse than being too early, but if you arrive for an interview over 20 minutes early then it may look as if you have nothing better to do. Being 10-15 minutes early is perfect because it shows your punctuality and gives you time to mentally prepare yourself/calm yourself.
Getting Your Interviewer’s Name Wrong
There’s nothing worse than getting your interviewer’s name wrong. This small mistake could cost you as it appears as though you haven’t made an effort to do your research. Make sure you know your interviewer/s names and job titles so you can address them properly when you initially shake hands.
Your performance in your interview depends on how well you understand the company and its needs, and how effectively you translate your strengths and skills into assets the company desires. Make sure you know your figures. Store Managers; know your figures! Your store turnover, the percentage of sales increase under your management etc. Designers; make sure your bring your portfolio! We have interviewed a lot of designers who have turned up without their portfolio - which was the whole point in the visit!
Not Dressing Appropriately
The very first impression you make in an interview is visual. So if you're not dressed like you're serious about the job, then you've fallen at the first hurdle and it will be more difficult to win your interviewers over. You should be able to guage what dress code is appropriate by researching the company. If in doubt, a smart casual dress code is your best bet.
One of our consultants had a candidate that turned up to an interview with a client wearing ripped jeans and no underwear (they knew this because the rips were in awkward places)!
Leaving Your Phone On
Leaving your phone on in an interview is a rookie error that is so easily avoidable. Switch your phone onto silent and leave it on your bag or pocket to avoid any distractions. You don't want a beep or an alert to ruin your concentration or flow. Even though your phone may be on silent and turned face down on the table in front of you, it looks bad being out in the first place as it could give off the impression that you are attached to your phone (and will be distracted constantly if you work for them).
Badmouthing Former Employers
Choosing to badmouth former employers to a complete stranger says a lot about you. It shows that you are unprofessional AND you never know if your interviewers know the people you are talking about!
Stay Professional and Curteous
One candidate of ours started rolling a cigarette on the table when the interview was coming to a close! Stay professional at all times and keep your attention soley on the interview.