When it comes to looking for a job, everyone knows that being invited for an interview doesn’t happen so easily. Unfortunately, many candidates fail during their interviews by making small mistakes without even realizing it. Knowing what not to do in an interview is just as important to the hiring process as having the right qualifications and a polished resume. Every question is the company’s way of determining who you are and how you can benefit them. It’s also an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you can deliver the results they’re looking for, more so than anyone else. So, with the right preparation, you can avoid these five common mistakes in your next job interview.
1. Not greeting your interviewer correctly
First impressions are especially important because they happen in an instant. During the interview process, your greeting can influence your interviewer’s perception of you. The first question that interviewers typically ask is “How are you?”. Most people keep it simple and reply with “Good, how are you?”. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, don’t do this. Instead, use the interviewer’s name when you greet them and tell them exactly how you’re feeling. For example, be honest about whether you’re happy, excited, or a little tired. You can even mention what you’ve been up to or if you’re looking forward to your weekend plans. Take the time to open up and connect with your interviewer. Treat the interview like a regular conversation and just be yourself.
2. Not researching the company
Before you go in for an interview, it’s critical to conduct some research on the company. Understanding the company, its mission, and its values is a vital part of the job-hunting process. How can interviewers see you as a potential employee if you can’t explain how you would further the company’s goals? It’s important to do your homework and learn as much as you can. Dig deeper and look for news, past projects, and future endeavors so that you can demonstrate your value. You should also take a look at the company’s social media accounts and familiarize yourself with its employees. Knowing who your potential future managers and co-workers are can be very helpful.
3. Pretending to know the answer
Sometimes, you may be asked an interview question that you don’t know how to answer. Remember to stay calm and keep yourself from panicking – it’s completely normal. Oftentimes, you will come across a question that you didn’t prepare for or don’t have an answer to. This can be a golden opportunity for you to demonstrate your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. However, if you’re completely unsure of what the answer should be, don’t pretend that you do. You also shouldn’t ramble or dance around the subject while you try to make up an answer. Instead, be honest and tell the interviewer that you don’t know. From there, share what you would do to find the answer and highlight the steps you would take.
4. Using “We” instead of “I”
One interview mistake that many people make is focusing too much on team accomplishments. When interviewing for a new job, it’s not about what you achieved with your team, but about the results of the actions that you took. Interviewers may be looking for team players, but it’s important for you to highlight your individual knowledge and experience first. At the end of the day, it comes down to the company deciding if you are a good fit. They want to know what you’re capable of and whether you can contribute to the company’s continued success. So, if you want to nail your interview, use “we” instead of “I” when talking about your previous roles.
5. Not asking questions at the end of the interview
Near the end of almost every interview, you’ll be given the chance to ask questions. Thinking of relevant questions to ask the interviewer is a crucial aspect of interview preparation and demonstrates your interest in the company. The biggest mistake you could possibly make is not asking questions at all. Turn the conversation around and interview the company the same way they’re interviewing you. Treat interviews like a two-way street to see if the company’s environment is the right fit for you and your career goals. Take the opportunity to ask them about their workplace culture, challenges, and whatever else is of importance to you. When you ask meaningful questions, it shows that you’re smart, capable, and can do great things for the company.