Remembering what you should be doing in an interview can be a daunting task, but have you considered what you shouldn’t be doing? Getting yourself properly prepared should eliminate the risk of falling at the last hurdle, but just in case here are our 10 interview mistakes to avoid:
1. Dressing inappropriately
It’s always advisable to wear a suit to an interview, or at least to dress smartly. Even in a creative industry you shouldn’t be turning up in scruffy clothes, you’re there to make an impression, make sure it’s a good one!
Just as you shouldn’t lie on your CV, nor should you attempt to lie in an interview. Exaggerating your skills and expertise won’t help you in the long-run anyway, you’ll be found as soon as you start work.
3. Bad-mouthing current/ex-employer
It’s completely unprofessional to complain about a current or previous employer and will only make the hiring manager think you’ll do the same about them. If, for some reason, you do have an issue with your employer, keep it to yourself and emphasise the fact that you’re looking for a new opportunity in a new organisation.
4. Closed body language
Building rapport with an interviewer can make for a far smoother process and will probably up your chances of getting a job offer. If you’re sat with your arms folded and don’t make eye contact, how can you engage properly with anyone? Where possible, try mirroring the type of body language your interviewer is using.
5. Rambling and mumbling
Do your best to keep to the point, giving clear and concise answers. Although many people get nervous during interviews, don’t be tempted into thinking that the more you talk the better. Taking a couple of deep breaths should allow you to slow your pace and enunciate clearly.
6. Getting too personal or flirting
The interview isn’t the time or the place for arranging dates, keep your manner friendly but not over familiar.
7. Discussing money/time off
Don’t use the interview as a chance to ask about salary and benefits; this can be discussed later on down the line when an offer has been made as part of your negotiations. If you have a holiday booked, you may need to mention this but don’t ask about holiday entitlement, again, this can be discussed at the offer stage.
8. Using bad language
There are no excuses for using swear words or inappropriate language during an interview. Even if your interview takes an informal and friendly tone, keep your language clean.
9. Arriving late or asking to leave early
Ensure you know how to get to the interview and aim to arrive early. If you get held up, (which shouldn’t matter because you’re early) call ahead to let your interviewer know when you will arrive. Keep your schedule free after the interview just in case it runs over; it’s very poor form to cut it short and won’t reflect well on you at all.
10. Not asking questions
Overlooking the importance of asking your own questions to the interviewer is a big blunder. Hiring managers are looking to gauge your interest in the role and work out how much insight you have into the industry and organisation. Prepare a few questions to ask beforehand and even if your queries are answered during the course of the meeting you can ask for more details.
If you’re looking for a new role, browse Michael Page’s current opportunities.