After you’ve created the perfect CV and sent it off, the next step is to wait for a call for an interview. When this happens, you need to be prepared to sell yourself just the right amount to your potential employer. Of course, focusing on your strengths should be the main focus of the interview. However, it's important to be sure to not make an interview mistake. Here are the most common mistakes to avoid.
The first interview mistake is implying you’ve reached the peak of your knowledge. Employers won’t want to take on someone who feels like they don’t allow room for improvement. Someone who is willing to adapt and grow in line with the company will be favoured over someone who can’t move on from their current or past achievements.
You can absolutely be proud of your career and mention how past experiences have helped you grow, but you need to be clear of where you want to go with it. Use your expertise to explain how you will help their business to thrive.
The second interview mistake is to seem overly willing to do everything that is thrown at you. People often think that by saying yes to everything, they’ll seem more hireable. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It’s unlikely that you will impress anyone by saying that you will do anything to get the job.
It could potentially demonstrate that you haven’t read the job description properly. It could even make you seem uninterested in the employer or job. Some scenarios may even make you look desperate.
Be honest about your skill set and where they apply to the role. Show a genuine interest in learning the skills you don’t know. That being said, if you are taking up an internship or an entry-level job, this enthusiasm could be required. Otherwise, stay away.
The third interview mistake is over-preparing. It’s necessary to be ready for the interview, but you don’t want to forget to be a human when you get in there. Have your answers prepped, but do not memorise them word-for-word and rattle them off.
The interviewer will want to see your personality shine through to determine who you are as a person as well as your ability as an employee. The interview should feel like a conversation that flows between you both. At the end of the day, you are both only humans!
The fourth interview mistake is to share the wrong information. As we said, you are both only humans. However, make sure to keep it professional. Use anecdotes to reiterate your skills and experiences, but keep them relevant. Do not tell the story about an argument you had with your partner about not washing the dishes.
Personal topics will, unfortunately, narrow your chances of landing the job. If you give the interviewer the impression that personal life and work-life won’t be separate, you could be ruling yourself out. Regardless of where the conversation is going, keep it professional.
Finally, the fifth interview mistake is to say that you are a perfectionist. When an interviewer asks what your weakness is, perfectionism is not the answer. Instead, make sure to list an actual weakness you have, and how you’re working to improve on it.
Mention how it’s a weakness, but how you are working on it to make it a strength. This will show that you are proactive and will focus the interview on positives rather than negatives.