The personal interview is often the final step in the job application process before the hiring manager decides which candidates deserve job offers. Making a good impression in your interview could be the key to landing the job you want. Whether you have experience interviewing or you are on your first job hunt, it’s always beneficial to practice your interviewing skills to prevent mistakes and improve your confidence. It’s especially important to avoid those mistakes that recruiters see time and again. Learn which simple job interview mistakes are the most common so you can avoid them in your interview.
1. Unprofessional Clothing
Before you even begin the interview, you will make an impression with your choice of clothing and body language. It’s extremely important to dress in a business or business-casual outfit and make sure your hair looks tidy. If you aren’t sure about a certain color or accessory, go with the most conservative choice. Choose clothing that fits well and is as comfortable as possible so you won’t be tempted to fidget during the interview.
2. Uncomfortable Body Language
Your body language communicates just as much as your spoken language does. Make sure you go into your interview with good posture and a friendly demeanor. A firm handshake and eye contact are also important. Don’t be too weak or overly enthusiastic in your handshake, and look people in the eye when talking and shaking hands. A weak handshake and refusal to make eye contact indicate timidity or insecurity, neither of which is a good quality to have in the workplace.
3. Showing Off
Showing off is one of the most common job interview mistakes recruiters see. A hiring manager can tell the difference between self-confidence and an overactive ego. Be honest when talking about your accomplishments, but resist the temptation to exaggerate. Keep your answers concise because rambling sounds unprofessional and can quickly devolve into self-focused bragging.
4. Lack of Self-Confidence
While you shouldn’t spend your time constantly boasting about your accomplishments, you still need to be confident and present yourself well. Most questions in an interview are open-ended, so you should answer in a clear and informative way. Talk honestly about successes you’ve achieved and the skills you bring to the table. Apologizing profusely for yourself, your answers or your work history quickly undermines your image and indicates low self-confidence.
5. Not Asking Questions
Most recruiters allow time in an interview for the jobseeker to ask questions. Not asking any questions can convey a lack of interest or motivation, and it also limits your own understanding about the requirements of the position. Do your homework ahead of time so you can ask educated and relevant questions that convey your interest and enthusiasm. You can also have a look at these common questions to ask your interviewer if you need a place to start.
6. Being Impolite
A job interview is a chance for a hiring manager to see how a jobseeker would interact as an employee, so manners and common courtesy are essential. Speak respectfully to everyone you meet, including any personnel not immediately connected to your interview. Avoid using crass and profane language, and don’t be overly casual with your interviewers.
7. Arriving Late With or Without a Good Reason
Showing up late to an interview is one of the riskiest job interview mistakes. You should arrive at the reception desk about five minutes before your interview time. To make sure traffic and other delays don’t make you late, it’s wise to leave early enough to get to the location half an hour early. Once there you can wait in your car or at a nearby park or cafe until it’s time to walk in for your meeting.
The personal interview is your chance to shine in front of the hiring manager. Remember to be self-confident without bragging and to speak honestly about your work history. Your choice of clothing and positive body language are also important. Arrive on time and be friendly and polite. Avoiding some of the most common interview mistakes helps ensure you are remembered for all your positive qualities.