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Avoid these Interview Errors to Own your Coveted Job

Sunday, 11 August 2013
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Summary: Some actions, sometimes done in ignorance, can shadow your ace performance at interviews. Being aware of these erroneous actions can help you take positive steps towards bettering your chances of winning your coveted job.


Making a first impression at an interview is crucial, but it should not be for the wrong reasons. There are many behavioural aspects that may not appear malicious to you but could harm your chances of acing an interview. An awareness of these errors, a shift of attitude, and a thorough preparation for your interview, can help you prevent these interview faux pas.

A Blank Gaze when asked about the Company

Every prospective employer expects you to have a basic knowledge about his or her company. It can be irritating to the recruiting officer if you meet his or her questions on the company with a blank gaze.

Obtain basic details about the company before you attend the interview. Check the companyÔÇÖs website and social networking websites for information. Pay attention to details on the past years of the company, its mission and values, latest developments, and work culture.

Such awareness conveys your preparedness and your interest in the job and organisation.

Excessive Self-Importance

Display of confidence impresses interviewers but not a stuck-up behaviour. It is possible that you end up with self-focused descriptions due to nervousness. But, nervous or not, constant rendition of your glories can portray you as an egoistic person to your interviewer.

Be to the point to avoid such gaffes. Script a reply beforehand and rehearse before the interview. Have your reply focus on facts; ensure that it answers how you can contribute with your present skills to the companyÔÇÖs vision without sounding pompous.

For example, a statement like ÔÇ£my people skills can be an asset to your companyÔÇØ, could be substituted with ÔÇ£I understand from the job description that people management is a key requirement for this role. I can add value with what I have learnt through my previous experience.ÔÇØ Proceed to explain how, with specific examples, if required.

It is always better to script your replies for questions that are common at interviews. A brief about yourself, past work experience and achievements, and future goals, are some examples. Craft replies that shift the focus from you to the value you can add to the organisation.

Indulging in Irritating Behaviours during the Interview

Arriving late for the interview and answering a phone in the middle of the interview are not uncommon. Such behaviours are irritating and convey blatant disregard for the company.

Reach the venue half an hour before the interview. Switch off your mobile phones or put them on silent mode when itÔÇÖs your turn at the interviewer.

Speaking Ill about your Ex-Boss or Ex-Colleagues

Be it your ex-boss, or colleagues from your previous workplace, be cautious about the words you choose to describe your bad experience, if any, with them. Avoid relaying such experiences in the first place. If you need to, opt for a positive or neutral language.

Use substitutes such as ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm looking for a more conducive work environmentÔÇØ, or ÔÇ£the roles and responsibilities for this position interested me immenselyÔÇØ instead of replies that involve discussing the problematic aspects of your previous role.

Have there been any mistakes that you committed at an interview? Share


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