When you finally have that interview in the pocket, you need to make sure you´re going to ace it and not make any typical mistakes that will cost you the job or the next interview round. Apart from the obvious of preparing the interview by researching the company, the interviewer and getting clear for yourself what you would answer to some very common interview questions, there are some other things you will need to think about. Here are the most common mistakes that will cost you the interview, so make sure to avoid these at all times!
- Being late
This may sound like common sense, but please be on time! You only have one chance to make a good first impression, and being late is probably the worst, first impression you can make. Of course, things outside of your control can happen but be prepared for the worst: missing your train, traffic jams, a strike of the bus personnel, everything that can happen you need to be prepared for. If it doesn´t happen, great, you´re very early but you can get a coffee in the bar nearby and do some last-minute prepping. If it does happen, you still have enough margin to be on time for your interview.
- Not asking questions
This one is also a deal breaker so even if everything is pretty clear to you after the interview, when they ask you at the end whether you have any questions, always ask at least one question. Prepare a list of questions for the interviewer and you can even take those notes out at the end of the interview to show that you are prepared. What often works really well is asking for the personal experiences of the interviewer, e.g. why did they choose to join this company, what is it they like most about their job, why are they still with this company after so many years etc. Most people like to talk about themselves so this is always a positive point!
- Starting about benefits/salary in the first interview
Although you, of course, want to know about the salary and other benefits of this job, don´t ask about it in the first interview. This might give the image that you only care about the rewards and not really about the job. If they ask you about your salary expectations, you can, of course, talk about some details. However, don´t start yourself about how many holidays you will have or how the pension plan works, because it will give the impression you´re more interested in that part than in the actual job. A real no-go!
- Being on your phone
This might sound obvious again, however, you have no idea how many people take out their phone during their interview. Taking a call, responding to a text or whatever, just don´t do it! You should show that you´re focusing on what is most important now, and at that very moment the interview, and trying to get that job, is the most important. Therefore, don´t give the impression that there are other more important things going on outside your interview room by taking out your phone. Put it off or on the do-not-disturb mode in your bag so you can´t get distracted by something vibrating in your pocket or bag either.
- Talking bad about your previous boss
This one is also a big deal breaker, even if you left your previous job on bad terms or just didn´t like it, avoid talking bad about your previous boss or employer in general because it will not generate trust. If you talk trash about your previous job, you will create the impression that you will do the same about this job if things might get difficult. Even if your previous boss was the worst person, don´t focus on that at all.
What other mistakes do you think are most common during interviews?