Most common interview faux pas

By Ellyn Peratikou

Interviews can be a daunting experience for everyone, but don’t jeopardise your chances of landing a dream job by committing those common interview crimes. We should all be familiar with the basic interview rules: be on time, don’t chew gum and be prepared, but you’d be astounded at how many candidates manage to get it wrong.

Read through our list of what NOT to do when it comes to job interviews and impressing a prospective employer.

The mobile phone cataclysm – Having your phone on at all during a job interview is a huge error in itself. Answering a phone call is even worse! It sounds so obvious, but you’d be surprised how many candidates forget to turn off their mobile phones. An employer will be less than impressed if they see you fumbling for your phone in a panic whilst they attempt to conduct and interview.

Being unprepared – We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s always better to be over prepared than under prepared”, so ensure that you are equipped with anything you have been asked to bring with you, along with extra copies of your CV. It’s also important that you know your CV and application very well, being unable to answer a question about your own application will be extremely embarrassing as well as highlighting the fact that you’re disorganised.

Irrelevant skills – While being able to count to 1000 backwards in Japanese is very impressive will it really aid you in this job? More importantly, is it relevant? Probably not. Focus on skills that will benefit you in the role you’re applying for. The interviewer wants to know why you’d be a valuable asset to their team and what you can bring to the table, so keep this is mind before you begin rambling on about what a great skier you are.

No research – This catastrophic interview mistake is committed far too regularly according to industry professionals. If you’re applying for a job at a company, it is vital that you understand what the company is about and what they do. There is nothing quite as embarrassing as being asked a question about the role or company that you’re applying for and staring at the interviewer with a blank expression, all because you’ve done no research. The reality is, they won’t consider you for another second after that.

Social media – Your social media sites may not be as private as you first thought. If you have ever tried typing your name into Google, you’re likely to find that all of your Facebook/Twitter/Blog posts are readily available for the public to view. When applying to jobs, ensure that there are no inappropriate posts or comments that will get you into trouble, or review privacy settings.

Cocky vs. Confident – It’s important to be confident and not let nerves get the better of you, especially when you find yourself in these situations. However, know when to reign it in otherwise you may end up costing yourself a job. Jack Iacovou says of his experience: “I made the mistake of becoming a bit over confident for my interview at a telecommunications company. The interviewer told me that I’d be required to be in the office every day from 9 ‘till 6, and I told him there and then that I wouldn’t be doing so as I enjoyed my flexibility and being able to work from home. Needless to say I didn’t get the job!”

About the author

Ellyn Peratikou is a magazine journalism graduate and freelance writer with a love for all things fashion, lifestyle and travel. You can follow her on Twitter @EllynPera

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