You’re on a job hunt, you’ve applied for multiple vacancies, and finally received a positive response for an interview. At this point, the last thing you want is to mess up the opportunity and you don’t want anything to go wrong. Sometimes, after an interview, we begin to wonder what’s taking them long to give feedback or schedule a second interview and you begin to ask yourself what could have gone wrong. Little do we know that a perfect resume alone is not enough for us to land the job, the bigger part depends on how we handle the interview. We already know the basics like arriving to the interview late, but there are more mistakes that are, without a doubt, interview killers.
- Not researching the company or the nature of the job enough.
Sometimes, out of desperation, we apply for whatever vacancies that come our way. Don’t feel embarrassed, you are not alone. The problem is not knowing enough the company you’ve approached. Once you receive that call for an interview, you need to make sure you’ve done enough research on the company and that you know the job requirements. You should at least have answers to questions such as:
- What does the company do?
- What interests you about the company?
- How long has it been doing business and what is its history?
Having no answer to these questions with at least a sentence or two will make it hard for the interviewer to consider you as a suitable applicant and the interview will end quicker than you know it.
- Talking too much or too little.
When answering questions, you should be straight to the point. You shouldn’t talk too much to the point where you lose the interviewer, and you also shouldn’t talk too little or reply briefly with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for instance. Be attentive and try to focus on grasping the purpose behind the question so that you answer appropriately.
- Sounding too rehearsed.
This is a big faux pas in interviews. There’s a huge difference between preparing for an interview and memorizing what you’ll be saying. The interviewer doesn’t want to listen to rehearsed answers you’ve been looking up on the internet as the best way to reply to certain questions. Instead, they expect to see some character. So yes, be prepared but also show as much personality as you can.
- Talking disrespectfully about your previous manager or employer.
Badmouthing your previous or current manager or employer is an indicator of poor work ethics. While it is common that all of us have worked in an unhealthy environment, it is never ethical to call your previous boss names in an interview describing them as a ‘nightmare’ or ‘horrible. This will portray you as an office gossiper or someone who stirs rebellious waves and raise problems in the workplace. You can still voice your issue in the politest way possible such as ‘the work environment wasn’t right for me’ or ‘the atmosphere was challenging on a social level’.
- Interrupting the interviewer.
In general, it is disrespectful to interrupt anyone speaking, let alone doing so in an interview. You may feel the need to ask a question, highlight something, or bring their attention to some of your accomplishments in light of what the interviewer is saying; never do it with interruptions. Keep a pen and a piece of paper next to you to jot down things you want to say. Wait for the speaker until they finish, and then, you are good to go.
- Making it all about how you benefit and not how the company will.
This is a common mistake a lot of job seekers do. We keep on talking about how much we need this job and how we will benefit from it. But we forget to talk about how our skills and experience can benefit and add to the company. You need to elaborate further on how your skills can fit the job and things you would want to bring in or add to it. The interviewer will then perceive you as more confident, professional, and good potential for hiring.
- Not asking any questions.
At the end of the interview, the interviewer always asks if you have any questions. It is a big mistake to say ‘no’ because this interview is for you as much as it is for the company. This is always a good opportunity to get answers to all queries. There are several things you can ask such as:
- What are the current projects that are given high priority?
- How long has this position been available?
- What are the biggest challenges in this role?
- What are the resources or how many members are there in the team?
- What are the growth prospects in this position?
To sum it up, you sometimes expect your resume to do the work for you or to speak for your experience. But if it were just about the resumes, there wouldn’t have been a reason why interviews are done in the first place. In order to leave a good impression or to be among the shortlisted, a strong presence is key. Prepare well, research, and most importantly be real and be yourself.