Congratulations, you’ve beat out potentially hundreds of other candidates with your impressive CV and you’ve made it to the face-to-face interview! Clearly, you looked good on paper and it is now your chance to make a great impression and potentially land yourself your dream job.
The face-to-face interview is a crucial step in the job interview process and could make or break your chances. Here are some of the top job interview mistakes to avoid – some of them may seem obvious, but happen a lot more often than they should!
1. Not dressing to impress
No matter how casual you think the job interview may be, if you look like you don’t really care about how you look, you probably give the impression that you don’t really care about the job. Depending on the role and the company, the dress code might differ, but it never hurts to look smart. Looking too dressed down is a risk you probably don’t want to take.
2. Arriving late
Another seemingly obvious one but many people seem to have trouble with arriving on time. Showing up late for a job interview gives the impression that your time management skills are off and also, it doesn’t show much respect for the company and the interviewer. Research the company’s location in advance, and if you can, arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview time. If you have lots of time beforehand, it doesn’t hurt to head out earlier, find a coffee shop, and do some last-minute prep!
3. Not turning off your phone
This is another one to put on the check list as an obvious but easily forgettable task. Make sure you turn off your phone or put it on silent before your interview; otherwise you run the risk of appearing unprofessional and unprepared – not to mention potentially wasting valuable interview time. Another important reason why you should aim to arrive 15 minutes before the interview: to make sure your phone is on silent!
4. Lack of knowledge and research on the company
In this digital age, there really is no excuse to not do sufficient research about the company before your interview. Lack of knowledge about the company shows a lack of interest and who wants to hire someone that couldn’t have been bothered to read up on the company? It’s more often than not that the interviewer will ask you what you know about the company and why you are interested – so make sure you have a thorough look through the company’s website, social media pages and other sources before the interview. This also gives you a chance to ask meaningful questions at the end of the interview.
5. Criticising your current/previous employer
So you hate your boss and hate your job, thus you want to vent out to anyone that will listen, right? Well, that’s what your friends are for. No matter how frustrating your situation may be, your interviewer does not want to hear about all of the reasons your boss is a terrible person; they just want to know why you want to work for THEIR company. Slagging off your boss or current organisation can do much more harm than good, and can make it appear as though you simply want whatever job you can get because you hate your current one. Focus on the positives and avoid the negatives as much as you can.
6. Not closing the interview
The main goal of an interview is to sell yourself to the employer. Closing the interview, ie. Reiterating your interest for the position, asking about the next steps in the process, asking for feedback right away, etc. is a very important part of the interview process of which many people forget to do or might feel uncomfortable doing. This will re-emphasize your interest for the role and why they should hire you – and also gives you a clearer picture of what to expect.