Imagine that you have finally secured an interview for that dream role with a coveted organisation. You are excited about the interview, and a little nervous too if you are honest. However, you’ve got the experience and referrals, and you are looking forward to relaying them to the interviewer. On the day, you’re pretty confident about your chances and feel it went well… However, weeks later, you still haven’t heard from the interviewer or the company.
Arguably, how you perform in a job interview is the determining factor for whether or not you get the job.
In our experience at IQPC, there are some key mistakes commonly made in job interviews. And if you can avoid these pitfalls, you’ll be setting yourself up for more success and less disappointment.
1) Remember that the interview starts as soon as you walk into the office. First impressions count – and every person you meet has the potential to comment positively / negatively about you to the interviewer.
What does this mean? It’s that old adage – you never get a 2nd chance to create a first impression. Things to remember; turn your mobile phone off, make sure you are dressed smartly and appropriately, make sure you have a strong hand shake, make sure you address people correctly and by their correct name, stand up when someone greets you and look them in the eye and finally, watch your body language and ensure it’s not too assertive, too aggressive or too extreme!
Also – consider this – 65% of employers check out your online presence to see if you present yourself professionally. They’ve assessed you before you’ve even booked that interview. If you are applying for a marketing role or a role that relies on or involves social media – make sure you have a professional online presence that mirrors your experience and your role.
2) Do not be late.
It’s that simple. Do not be late. Being late signifies nothing but the fact that you aren’t really that bothered about the job or that you are not someone to be relied on. You’ve probably failed the interview before you’ve even had a chance to start it and the interviewer is being polite and interviewing you none the less.
3) Make sure you do your homework….
Homework? Yes. A little homework goes a long way. Have an understanding about the company, show initiative and that you’ve read about them in the news, read their blog, follow them on LinkedIn etc. In addition to the company – do your research about the role and what it means to be in this job. As the girl guides say, be prepared.
4) You can’t answer basic questions about your qualifications or your CV
Alarm bells are ringing for your interviewer. Have they made it up? Or are they just nervous? The interview is as much about you being right for the company as it is about the company being right for you, and if you stumble at this hurdle they can’t actually make a clear judgment about this ‘fit’. Practice, practice and practice in advance especially if you get nervous easily. Read through your CV and cover letter, more than once, and refresh yourself about how you phrased your skills and experience and consider what you can bring to this next role.
5) Avoid boring the interviewer…
Did you know 21% of candidates report their interviewers seemed bored during the interview? This is most likely because you are not giving memorable or engaging answers. My advice is to take the time in advance to consider the likely questions you will be asked and prepare responses in your mind and rehearse saying them out loud and considering your reaction to them. Think about common interview questions (strengths, weaknesses, where you want to be in 5 years etc.) and rehearse your response in advance so you don’t end up sounding contrived or cliche. Its important to always consider a game plan to stand out.
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