Congratulations, you got an interview! Now it’s time to tackle the hardest part of getting a job- preparing for the interview.
What common mistakes will make the interviewer have second thoughts about your eligibility for the position and possibly take you out of the running?
A 2017 Recruiter National Report found that being rude to the staff (86%), using your phone (71%), being late (58%), and lousy hygiene (52%) are some of the top reasons you would get immediately disqualified from getting hired.
So, what other common mistakes you should watch out for during interviews?
Here are three of the biggest mistakes that you should prepare for so that you don’t repeat them ever again!
- I Don’t Know Anything About Your Company
Going to an interview and not knowing anything about the company you are interviewing with is the biggest mistake you can make. The “What do you know about this company?” question is almost a guarantee for every interview. Hiring managers want candidates who show excitement and initiative and showing what you know about their company is one of the best ways to do that. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be an expert; you just have to know enough about the company’s services, products, and culture to demonstrate how you could add value to them.
The “About Us” section on the company’s website can provide a lot of background information such as locations, history of the company, and its mission statement. However, we highly recommend that you take it one step further and look at the company’s social media, as well as doing a general Google search for any recent news involving the company or its industry.
Give yourself enough time to complete your research-which means don’t do this the night before and make sure to revise your notes before your interview.
The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel, and this will reflect in your interview, it will show the hiring manager how seriously you’re taking the opportunity given to you.
- I Don’t Know How to Answer That Question
There are times when we all get nervous, and during an interview is one of the most common ones. To prevent your nerves from getting in your way, we recommend that you research and prepare answers to common interview questions. This will ease some of your anxiety, and thus you will be able to respond to each query with more confidence, and more importantly, you won’t be caught off guard by the interviewer. Keep in mind that even though you’ll want to practice your answers, there is a delicate balance between overdoing it and coming off like a robot and not doing it enough where you become frazzled because you are trying to remember what you prepared. Instead, creating a general outline highlighting what to address for each question will take the pressure away from feeling you have to respond word for word, and your answer will come off as more natural.
Structuring your response using the STAR method is another way to ensure that you are answering questions effectively. Standing for S: Situation, T: Task, A: Action, R: Response this method that is especially useful for competency-based questions. Where you are asked to provide and expand upon a real-life example of how you exhibit particular skills such as leadership or problem-solving. By using STAR to structure your reply, you can be confident that your answer is complete and not missing any important details that the interviewer is looking for.
- I Didn’t like my previous employer
For argument’s sake, let’s say that working with your last employer or company was the most horrible experience in your professional career. Still, if the interviewer asks you why you have left or are leaving your previous job under no circumstances should bad-mouth your former employer and colleagues in your response. It will only reflect poorly on you and make you seem petty and immature. So, when this question comes up, make sure to keep your emotions in check and remain diplomatic and polite.
We advise framing your answer in a way that highlights your professionalism, what the experience has taught you, and how you solved the problem. Just like the following example from The Balance Careers:
“I didn’t see eye to eye with my last boss, and that led to a breakdown in communication. However, now I realize this was also due to my lack of experience in the industry, and I worried that asking questions would be perceived as weak and indicate that I was unable to do the job.
Now I’ve learned to ask questions immediately if I need further explanation and that it demonstrates my initiative and dedication to getting the job done right.”
This answer is well structured because it deemphasizes the problem while emphasizing the speaker and the lesson; they learned about how asking questions is not a sign of weakness but of initiative and dedication.
If you cannot spin your answer into something positive, you can instead respond more diplomatically by giving one of the following responses:
- I wish to be part of a bigger/smaller company
- I want to gain more experience in a different branch of the business
- I want to take on a new responsibility
- I wish to take on the challenge of learning a new industry
All these answers are acceptable as they answer the question without calling your character into question.
Do you want to ensure that you ace your next interview? Then the solution is our experienced coaches at GRS Group. We guarantee that with the help of our career guidance sessions, you will learn all the tools you need for a successful interview that will take you one step closer to getting your dream job. If you are ready to wow in your next interview, email or give us a call!