Originally posted on https://interview-coach.co.uk/5-mistakes-you-must-avoid-in-your-job-interview/
Do you hate job interviews? Maybe you have a fantastic resume but when it’s time to interview you panic. It’s possible that you constantly struggle to get past this stage. Well, if that’s the case this article will provide you info on some of the mistakes you could be making that send the wrong impression
The Wrong Handshake
You’ll find as you proceed through this list that there are quite a few points related to body language. What you must keep in mind here is that studies show within five minutes of meeting you, an employer is already deciding whether you are the right candidate for the job. So, you need to make sure that you are sending the right impression. A strong example of this is a handshake. It’s still a fairly typical business world out there and we haven’t quite reached the point where the demographics of who’s on top have fully shifted. For that reason, you might still be judged on your handshake. A solid, firm handshake, shows that you have confidence, that you are a go-getter and you are ready to shake up a business. You need to avoid a weak or flimsy handshake as unfortunately, this will be regarded as lack of confidence.
Substance But No Style
It’s a romantic notion that it doesn’t matter how you look as long as you answer the questions correctly and can provide the support, knowledge and indeed, the experience an employer needs. Unfortunately, it’s also nonsense. When you attend an interview you will be judged on how you look with research showing conventionally attractive people are more likely to reach higher positions in the business world. Why is this? Well, business is all about a brand image. Employers want to protect and even improve this image with the right staff that have the right aesthetic. As such, you do need to focus on your appearance and there a few ways to hit this the right way.
Consider opting to get a haircut a day or so before the interview so that you look well groomed. You may even want to take a spa treatment so that you look well rested and full of energy. Some people will even whiten their teeth and it doesn’t stop there. Do make sure that you are dressed correctly. If you are wearing a suit, make sure this fits you perfectly and that your shoes shine. This demonstrates that you do take into account the little details that most people may ignore. We’re not saying that you’ll be hired based on the way you look. But if it’s between someone who looks dishevelled and untidy against a person who has the right look with everything else equal, there’s no prize for guessing who gets the job.
Heading On A Tangent
A lot of people think that there’s no right way to complete an interview and this is absolutely not true. There is a right way and a wrong way. One of the key mistakes you can make is going off on a tangent. During an interview, there will always be a limited time where an employer is interested and attentive to what you have to say. You don’t want to waste this on information that doesn’t matter or that isn’t relevant. Ultimately, you need to be careful that you don’t get sidetracked. Think of this like writing an essay at school. Yes, it was possible to waffle through a few pages and eventually arrive at the correct answer, but this didn’t work for all subjects because some were negatively marked. Well, employers are negative markers and will not give you the points if it takes you an age to get the right answer.
How do you avoid this? Well, you should think about using mind maps before your interview. With mind mapping, you can essentially, start with a key point that an interviewer could ask or that you need to address. Once you have done this, you can then build in the vital things to discuss and have a clear concept to work with. You can then learn these when you are preparing for your interview, similar to studying for an exam. You could also consider using flash cards and practising your interview in the mirror.
Do ensure that you are making eye contact when you are completing your interview. Again, looking down at your shoes or avoiding the gaze is a key way to make it seem like you are not confident in what you are saying. It also results in a weaker message when you are speaking. It’s possible that you are interviewed by multiple people. If that’s the case then you just need to make sure that you are shifting your eye contact to each of the main people running the interview. You don’t have to look eyes continuously but you shouldn’t spend the majority of the time staring at the wall, the table or your hands.
Failing To Ask Questions
At the end of the interview, you will always be asked if you have any questions. A lot of people will make the mistake of declining to ask or struggling to think of any. If you decline to ask, it may seem like you are not particularly interested in the job or you are not taking the interview seriously. If you struggle to ask, it can seem like you aren’t prepared for the interview at all. Both of these issues must be avoided if you can. So what questions should you ask? Well, you can consider questioning about pay levels, benefits, employee socialization and perhaps the future of the company. This is where they might ask you if you have any ideas for how the company can improve. You should prepare to answer this question as well.
We hope this helps you prepare for your job interview the right way and ensure that you are ready to win. While it can seem incredibly difficult to impress an employer if you avoid these mistakes you will already be on the right path.
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