In an interview, your primary goal is to get across to the hiring manager why you—above all the other candidates—are the right person for the job. That you have the right set of skills, a great personality, and the drive to really make things happen in your new role.
But as you’re doing your research and preparing for the interview questions, it’s equally important to know what the hiring manager will consider a red flag. After a wrong move or two, you could miss out on the opportunity.
To help you steer clear of any faux pas we've put together 13 points to ensure your awesome abilities and accomplishments shine through!
1. Not doing your homework
Part of preparing for an interview is doing your homework, researching about the company (look at their website), the role (read the job description), and completing any tasks that you have been asked to complete prior to the interview.
Get to know the company so you can share what you’ve learned about them. Coming un-prepared for the interview is the fastest way to end your opportunity so do the leg work, it will pay off.
2. Talking about how the company can benefit you, very early on
There is something that leaves a bad taste in an interviewer’s mouth when you bring up salary, promotions, and benefits early on in the interview process. Discuss this with your Recruitment Consultant who will advise you of the salary and benefits of the role and negotiate at offer stage if necessary.
3. Talking poorly about your current or previous work place
Sometimes it might come out without even meaning to, but you need to know there are positive ways of turning any experience, and leaving a workplace doesn’t always have to be because of something negative. Show your gratitude for your workplace, even if this new role is something you really want, your potential new employers will appreciate a loyal employee.
4. Sounding robotic and unenthusiastic
We know some people have a natural tone to their voice but there is a difference between being naturally neutral and sounding bored and uninterested. At interviews you should be showing the best side of yourself, by applying for the role you’ve already expressed interest, now it’s time to show how enthusiastic you are, otherwise interviewers will think you’re not that interested.
5. Have your phone on loud
You know how embarrassing it in when your phone goes off in the cinema? This is worse. For your own interview safety, always remember to turn everything off before you go in. At the very least, leave it on silent. Especially if you have a questionable ringtone that could potentially cause offence or embarrassment.
6. Not having a good answer for why you’re interested in a role
There are big alarm bells for interviewers when a person can’t answer a simple question about why they are interested in the role. It doesn’t have to be a big dramatic answer, sometimes the simplicity is enough, think about what it is that made you apply for the role in the first place and try to keep it personal to you, is it professional growth, your interest in the company or because of something great you can offer them. Give reasons for your answers.
7. Wearing inappropriate clothing
It sounds obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many people forget how to dress for an interview. Whilst we celebrate your individuality, we must also remind you that for many office-based work environments, there is an expectation to dress professionally, so when getting dressed for your interview, think business meeting, not a night out on the town.
8. Being rude to the receptionist
It may seem unrelated but, in many cases, how you present yourself to the receptionist in the office can have a certain level of influence in what the employers think of you. It is becoming more and more of a need from bosses to have their receptionist work behind the scenes to be their eyes and ears. It’s important to take notice of how you are presenting yourself to anyone for the first time. Are you being polite and courteous to everyone you are meeting, or are you treating them like they are beneath you? Remember that in everyday life you should always be friendly, positive and patient because it shouldn’t matter what level anyone is, everyone deserves respect, plus you never know who you are speaking to.
9. Not asking questions
You should aim to always have at least two questions to ask after an interview, this shows your interest in the company, that the interview has reaffirmed your excitement for the role and also avoids the risk of making you sound like you know EVERYTHING already. You can find typical questions to ask online, use those for inspiration ready and prepared, though you will probably find questions will come to you naturally during the interview.
10. Be arrogant
Avoid arrogance during your interview. Displaying pride can make interviewers feel as if you are talking down to them. Instead, discuss your skills and accomplishments in connection with how they can help the company and in a straightforward, not boasting, manner.
11. Be late or too early
Avoid arriving late to the interview. Lateness implies that you don't care about the position and don't respect the interviewer's time. Instead, arrive a few minutes early to introduce yourself to the staff and have time to compose yourself before the interview.
Avoid arriving more than 10 minutes early. Too early of an arrival could be inconvenient for the interviewer, causing them to rush through a prior commitment and come into the interview frustrated. Instead, if you arrive more than 10 minutes early, wait in your car or outside the building and review your interview documents. When appropriate, go inside and introduce yourself at the reception desk.
12. Show a lack of accountability
Avoid blaming others for your mistakes. The interviewer may ask you to discuss a time you made a mistake at work. Don't say that you have never made a mistake or that your coworkers were the only ones at fault. Instead, take accountability for your actions. Explain what you learned from the mistake and how you would approach the situation now if you were faced with it again.
13. Remember to stay calm
During the job interview, relax and stay as calm as possible. Take a moment to think before you answer the question. Body language and eye contact is essential when speaking with your potential employer. You've got this!