For many job seekers, an interview does not happen that easily, especially the one that could help land their dream job.
When they finally land an interview, it sometimes puts a lot of pressure on candidates, leading to mistakes that could happen due to anxiety, unawareness, or mere negligence. Unfortunately, many candidates fail their interviews by making small mistakes without realizing it.
Knowing what not to do in an interview is as crucial to the hiring process as having the right qualifications and a polished resume. Remember that every question is the company's way of understanding your candidate profile and seeing how aligned you are to the role's expectations. It then becomes important to avoid mistakes when trying to create an impression.
So, with the proper preparation, you can avoid these 5 common mistakes in your next job interview.
#1 Not researching the company
It is critical to research the company and their industry before going in for an interview. Understanding what matters for the company and its role is vital for the research process. How can interviewers see you as a potential employee if you can't explain how you would align with the company's goals?
Solution: Dig deeper. Look for news, past/future projects, and successes. Use this information while demonstrating your value. Look through the company's social media accounts and familiarize yourself with its employees using LinkedIn. A quick Google search can help you get a long way.
#2 Dressing Inappropriately
It's the age of virtual interviews, and some candidates think it's ok to be a little casual when they are in front of a web camera. Being well presented is a must, so choose your outfit wisely. During a virtual interview, creating an environment similar to what you would have during an in-person interview helps you perform better.
Solution: Take your call in a quiet environment. Go with a formal/semi-formal dress code if you are unsure about the company culture. However, if in doubt, always err on the side of caution. It's better to go too formal than not formal enough.
#3 Pretending to know the answer
For some candidates admitting that they don't know an answer becomes the most challenging thing to do during an interview. Often, you will come across a question that you didn't prepare for or don't have an answer to, and there is no reason why you should pretend to know the answer or provide an irrelevant response. This is an absolute 'no go' in the eyes of the interviewer.
Solution: Remember to stay calm and keep yourself from panicking – it's completely normal not to know things, and it's always better, to be honest about it than trying to make up an answer.
#4 Badmouthing ex-employers
It is best to avoid complaining about former employers or pointing out negative aspects of previous or current places of employment when interviewing for a job. It may give your interviewer the wrong impression of you and make them wonder what you would say about them in similar circumstances.
Solution: Always be diplomatic. Highlight your positive experiences with your ex-employers and show how you overcame any negative experience proactively with a positive approach.
#5 Not asking enough questions
Near the end of almost every interview, you'll be given a chance to ask questions. Thinking of relevant questions to ask the interviewer is crucial for interview preparation and demonstrates your interest in the company. The biggest mistake you could make is not asking questions at all.
Solution: Don't be afraid to ask questions! Prepare well in advance. Treat an interview as a two-way street to determine if a company is a good fit for you. Take the opportunity to ask about the company culture, challenges, or anything that interests you about the workplace. Asking the right questions makes you look smart, capable, and aligned with the company values.