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The 10 most common job interview mistakes

Take care not to throw away all your hard work on an easily-avoidable error that could jeopardise your job application

New research from career site CareerBuilder, which questioned around 2,600 hiring managers HR departments, has revealed a handy list of top interview mistakes.

  1. Anxiety

A lack of confidence and being poorly prepared can lead to confusing body language, which may cause a potential employer to shy away from hiring you.

According to Rosemary Haefner, chief HR officer for CareerBuilder: “If you don’t read about the company and research your role thoroughly, you could magnify your fear of interviewing poorly and lose the opportunity”.

  1. Lying

Keep it truthful. Don’t ‘fluff’ up your CV by bending the truth.  The research showed that two thirds of hiring managers wouldn’t hire someone who was caught lying about something.

  1. Using your phone

64 per cent of the hirers surveyed said that they would decide against hiring someone if they answered a call, sent a text or looked at their smart phone during an interview.

Also, don’t get caught in the awkward situation of your phone ringing during the interview, switch it to silent.

  1. Appearing arrogant

While confidence is vital for professional success, it’s important never to portray this as being arrogant. 59 per cent of the respondents admitted that this would be a deal-breaker for hiring the candidate.

  1. Dressing inappropriately

Although being super formal is not suitable for every interview, it’s important to make sure you look your best – smart, clean and presentable.  Nearly 50 per cent of all the hiring executives and HR professionals admitted that inappropriate outfits would disqualify an otherwise positive candidate.

  1. Make sure you’re on time

Lateness is unprofessional and demonstrable of lack of organisation / punctuality, it’s also incredibly rude.  Most employers will instantly be frustrated if they are kept waiting without a very good reason.

  1. Make eye contact

Almost 70 per cent of those surveyed said that failure to make eye contact put the interviewee in a negative light.  While you don’t want to stare, speak sincerely and confidently by maintaining regular eye contact throughout the interview.

  1. Don’t fidget

Although you don’t want to be statue-still, hirers are put off if you constantly fidget in your seat, faff with your hair or face or even fiddling with an item on the table.

  1. Bad body language

Crossing your arms over your chest was reported by 32 per cent of respondents as being off-putting in a candidate.  Similarly, bad posture, excessive gesturing and handshakes that are too weak / strong were all described as common, classic interview mistakes.

  1. Failure to smile

It’s also good to appear positive and approachable even though you should be aware that the interview is a serious process.  Failure to smile was found by nearly 40 per cent of employers to be disappointing and could jeopardise a potential job offer.

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