4.3.2023 | Recruitment

Mistakes to avoid in an interview

As an expert in helping candidates secure their dream jobs, Amanda Harrold of A&S Recruitment knows only too well what companies expect from candidates at an interview.

She says: “It’s always important to remember all interviews represent a crucial step in securing your dream job or advancing your career. While it’s natural to feel anxious, being prepared and avoiding common interview mistakes can significantly increase your chances of success.”

Here, Amanda shares her advice for presenting yourself in the best possible light and putting you on the path to securing that coveted new position.

Failure to Prepare

One of the most common interview mistakes is failing to prepare adequately. Many candidates make the error of thinking they can “wing it” or rely solely on their qualifications and experience to carry them through the interview. However, a lack of preparation can leave you fumbling for answers and unable to communicate your skills and suitability for the role effectively.

To avoid this mistake, research the company thoroughly. Familiarise yourself with its mission, values, culture, and recent developments. Review the job description and identify specific skills and qualifications required. And remember, the more you prepare, the more confident and articulate you will appear during the interview.

Arriving Late or Underdressed

Punctuality and professionalism are crucial in an interview setting. Arriving late or underdressed can create a negative first impression that is challenging to overcome. Aim to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early for your interview, demonstrating your respect for the interviewer’s time and eagerness for the position.

Appropriate dress is also essential. Research the company’s dress code and choose an outfit that aligns with its culture. When in doubt, it’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. A neat, well-groomed appearance reflects your commitment to the interview and the company.

Inadequate Communication Skills

Communication is a critical component of a successful interview. Poor communication can manifest in several ways, including speaking too fast, using jargon, or failing to listen actively. It’s essential to balance confidence and humility, showcasing your skills and experience without coming across as arrogant.

To avoid communication mistakes:

  • Practice your interview answers with a friend or mentor.
  • Pay attention to your tone, body language, and non-verbal cues.
  • Make eye contact, smile, and use clear, concise language.
  • Remember that communication is a two-way street; actively listen to the interviewer’s questions and respond thoughtfully.

Negativity and Over Confidence

Attitude plays a significant role in interview success. A negative attitude or overconfidence can be major turn-offs for employers. Avoid criticising former employers or colleagues, and refrain from complaining about past experiences. Instead, focus on the positive aspects and what you’ve learned from previous work scenarios and challenges.

And remember that overconfidence can come across as arrogance. While it’s essential to highlight your achievements, remaining humble and showing a willingness to learn and grow within the organisation is equally important.

Failure to Ask Questions

An interview is not just an opportunity for the employer to assess you; it’s also a chance for you to evaluate the company and the role. Failing to ask questions can make you appear disinterested or unprepared. Always have a mental list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer.

Ask about the company’s plans, the team you’ll be working with, opportunities for professional development, and the company culture. These questions demonstrate your genuine interest in the position and commitment to making an informed interview decision.

Amanda concludes: “Interviews are critical steps in the job-seeking process, and avoiding common interview mistakes can significantly increase your chances of success. Remember that interviews are about showcasing your qualifications and finding the right fit for your career goals and aspirations.”

A&S Recruitment