Love them or hate them, interviews have a way of testing us professionally and personally. Theres a fine line between successful and ‘failure’, because of there subjective nature. Interviewers interview differently, company criteria change and job roles differ depending on industry but what remains the same are the common approaches that candidates take, that negatively affect the outcome of interviews. Try and avoid these common mistakes.
1. Contradictory responses
You want to impress in an interview… right? and that subconsciously creates a tendency to be agreeable when giving your responses. It’s not uncommon to get caught out up in the process and end up agreeing with the interviewer only to walk out of the interview room thinking hmmmm, why did I say that. The interview process is a two way process, its as much about them assessing you as you them. Decide on your non-negotiables, take your time and ask the interviewer to repeat or clarify a questions before replying.
2. How its done vs how you do it
Do you always prep for an interview? Most interviewers want to hear examples of what you do in your day to day role, but what tends to happen if you haven’t prepared is that you respond with how that task is done as opposed to how you do it. A great way to tackle this is to prepare and structure your response. By using the STAR technique Situation, Task, Action, Result you can demonstrate real life scenarios of how you work.
3. Going off topic
Interviews have a way of making the most qualified person feel nervous. The effect can make you talk a lot more than usual and inadvertently make you go off topic. Failing to answer the specific question that has been asked is an instant red flag for interviewers, they tend to get frustrated by this and it can influence their decision on you. Calming nerves by speaking slowly and addressing each part of the question logically using STAR will also help.
4. We, they and them
Interviews are your opportunity to shine, yes! Me, myself and I. This is the opportunity to talk about your achievements, your skills and your abilities, its ok. Theres nothing worse than asking a candidate about his/her role in a team task and the response being dominated by ‘we achieved’ and ‘they did’. Prefix responses with ‘I initiated’, ‘I reduced’ or ‘I achieved’. This shows a level of competence and confidence that interviewers want to hear from a strong candidate.
5. Failing to be personable
Interviewers don’t just ask questions, they observe. In addition to your ability to do the job, they are closely weighing up your potential fit within the the team and company. Personality, attitude and communication are high on the checklist. All too often candidates stress so much over the interview process, that answering the questions competently is their main focus. Instead delivering a response that showcases, personality and the type of individual you are is just as important. Inject your personality, humor and potential into your answers.
Do you have interview coming up? Avoid these common pitfalls and let us know how it goes