How to avoid common interview mistakes

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How to avoid mistakes and be successful in job interviews is one of the most common questions our recruitment consultants are asked.

Here are the fice most common mistakes made.

Not researching the organisation

While it seems an obvious task to do when job hunting, some professionals simply don’t do enough research about the company they’re applying to work for.

During your interview, it’s essential that you can talk confidently and knowledgably about the company and what it does.

You should know the following facts about your potential employer prior to the interview:

  • The company’s history, financial position, mission and products or services.
  • The markets in which it operates.
  • It’s main competitors and their strategy.
  • The industry.

It is essential that you know your CV in detail and can answer questions about the information you’ve provided.

Giving generic answers on why you like the company

If you are asked why you like the company you are applying for, don’t give a generic answer, be specific. If you are generic, you may come across as though you are looking for any job in the industry as similar to that particular role. Always demonstrate your passion by referring specifically to the aspects of the job that attract you, such as the company’s reputation, brand or the key responsibilities you’ll be given.

Not knowing your CV in detail

It is essential that you know your CV in detail and can answer questions about the information you’ve provided. The interviewer will expect detailed information about your background, including previously held responsibilities and educational achievements. Your answers should also relate to the job you are applying for, always check the job description and see which of your skills can match with the responsibilities that they have put in the offer. Before your interview, make sure you review your CV and practice how you will respond to any potential questions on the information you have supplied.

Speaking negatively about previous employers or roles

You should never talk negatively about a company, manager or previous job. Making belittling comments about previous employee relationships or experiences can jeopardise your career prospects. Identify the positive aspects of your employment history and focus on these instead.

Being too familiar with your interviewer

Even if you feel you have a good rapport or connection with the interviewer, you should never be over-familiar. Be engaging and interested but keep the interview professional when demonstrating your interpersonal skills.

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For more career advice please contact:

Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager (South Africa)
+27 (0)11 881 2414

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