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7 classic interview mistakes

In order to come across as a strong candidate, you need to remain in control of the interview

Job interviews can be stressful, even for the most experienced and professional of candidates. We look at seven common mistakes.

1. Failure to support your CV

Some candidates will embellish experience on a CV in order to get to the interview stage. However, this can be problematic if what you say in the interview doesn’t back up your skills and experience on paper. This can leave the interviewer feeling that you are not quite the same person and that you may not have the requisite qualifications. They may then start to question whether you are being less than honest in other areas.

2. Not showing versatility

In these straitened economic times, employers are searching for candidates who can offer them a range of skills. If you focus on just your strongest areas, then you’re not highlighting how versatile and employable you really are. An employer will want to hire someone who can benefit the company in a variety of ways and who they can easily train.

3. Being overly brief with your answers

It’s important in an interview situation that you take the time to elaborate on the experience you have gained at your current and previous employers. This is especially crucial when it relates to the role for which you are applying. So whilst chapter and verse may not be appropriate, don’t be too miserly with your responses.

4. Not getting the balance right

Candidates routinely make the mistake of either talking too little or too much; both of which can have a negative effect. Even if you’re feeling nervous, you need to strike the right balance. Consider the effect of breaks in the conversation, how much you’re speaking and the body language of the interviewer. If it looks as though you may be losing their attention, you need to bring the point to an end and let them talk again.

5. Using excessive business jargon

It’s a given that employers are looking for those who are passionate about what they do and can work as part of a team. You need to highlight how you can bring these qualities to the business, rather than simply peppering your conversation with arbitrary key words and sound bites.

6. Being overly confident

Confidence is an important characteristic and of course you need to sell your skills to the interviewer. It is, however, essential, that you’re not over confident and that you come across as a fully rounded individual with genuine experience and ability, rather than merely arrogant.

7. Not being in control

In order to come across as a strong candidate, you need to remain in control of the interview. Don’t simply sit back and let the interviewer shine the spotlight on your weaker areas. Instead, try to move the conversation to your strengths in a specific area. For example, this could be the positives that you took away from a short term position, rather than the fact that you were not there for long.

In being aware of these common issues, you will be better prepared for an interview. It doesn’t matter how many interviews you attend, you should treat each one in the same way and with the same level of commitment.

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