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Tips on Avoiding the 6 Most Common Interview Mistakes August 22, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Handling Interviews.
Tags: ,

The mistakes you make during an interview can be small and negligible or they can be large and legendary.  Either way, they can prevent you from landing that dream job.  Avoid the most common interview mistakes that have cost others potentially rewarding jobs by using these tips.

Make time for the interview.
Do come earlier than the appointed time.  Ten to fifteen minutes is ideal.  That should give you enough time to relax, fix yourself, freshen up or review your qualifications.

To avoid turning up late, organize yourself the night before.  Have your interview clothes ready, take a shower (to save yourself the time in the morning), read a copy of your resume or practice on your answers to possible questions.  Try to get a good night’s sleep and set the alarm.

Worst case scenario: in case you don’t get to the interview on time, call your interviewer’s office to inform them that you will be late.  Ask if they will give you an allowance and let you go to the interview a little later than agreed upon. 

If you’re really stuck, ask if you can get another schedule.  Should this happen, you better have a good reason.  Never ignore an interview appointment or miss one without giving your potential employer the courtesy of calling up.

You know nothing about the company.
This is another common interview mistake that can cost you a very good job.  Companies don’t just ask if you know anything about them due to vanity – they also want to know whether your application is a conscious effort – that you truly want to work with them because you know what they are and what they do.

During the application process, find out everything you can about the company with the job vacancy you’re eyeing.  You can find information several ways:

– The ad itself.  Most companies will include a short backgrounder on their company in their newspaper ad.

– The company website.  Look for the ‘About Us’ or ‘Company History’ sections.

– The company brochure.  Most companies leave copies of their company brochures in the visitors’ lounge – all the more reason for you to come to the interview early so you can check it out.

– Insiders.  If you know someone who works with the company, ask them.

– Cold calling.  Companies often have customer service lines or receptionists who handle information.  Call them up and ask about the company – but do not introduce yourself and say you’re applying for a job.  Just pretend to be a researcher or salesman preparing a proposal.  It sounds sneaky, I know but it’s legal and it’s a good way to obtain information you might not otherwise get.

You’re unprepared with the interview questions.
Always check your resume to review your job experience, skills and qualifications.  It may sound like a roll-your-eyes-up no-brainer but believe me, it will help, particularly if you’ve had several jobs before.  Interviews can be very stressful, making it very easy for you to forget certain important things about your past jobs.

At least 24 hours prior to the interview, think about your best answers for the questions that get asked often, such as, ‘What do you consider as your strengths and weaknesses?’ or ‘Why should we hire you?’ or ‘What made you leave your job?’ or that one question that often stumps beginners, ‘Tell me about yourself.’

Your cellphone rang.
Don’t surprise your interviewer by allowing your cell phone to ring during an interview.  It’s unpleasant and rude.  It will even get worse if you answer the phone – even if you excused yourself.

Before going into the interview room, put your phone on silent mode.  If the vibrate mode makes a noise, then don’t use it.  Don’t let a ringing cell phone pull your focus away from the interview. 

You bring something negative to the interview.
A common interview mistake is to talk about your past experience in a negative light.  So you had a boss who ate his subordinates for breakfast or that you had a colleague who stole your ideas or that your old employer didn’t pay you enough. 

Your interviewer doesn’t want to hear it.  What he or she wants you to do is to prove that you are the job candidate they’re looking for.  Avoid talking about your boss or co-workers in a way that makes them look bad.  Focus instead on who you are, what your qualifications are and what you bring to the table.

When the subject is about money…
Never make the first move about money.  Although majority of us are looking for jobs to earn an income, it’s considered a bit crude for the job candidate to open up about money first, especially during the first few minutes of the interview.  Allow the interviewer to lead the talk towards salaries and benefits and go from there. 

But what if the interviewer has not mentioned anything and the interview is about to end?  That’s your cue to discuss the salary package.  Don’t worry – at this point, after everything about the job has been discussed, it’s considered acceptable for the job candidate to ask.



1. Marcos - February 6, 2013

What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads.
I hope to contribute & assist other customers like its
aided me. Good job.

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