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How to avoid common interview mistakes

Fight the panic

For any candidate who has ever wondered whether those scuffed shoes and a wet handshake has cost them a job, well yes it has.

Walking into an interview is sometimes a stressful situation. Avoiding a few common mistakes can put you above the rest and help you land the job.

A good resume, the right experience and matching skills don’t mean the job is yours. The job interview is where a potential employer gets a good look at you as a possible employee and decides if you fit. Avoid common job interview mistakes with preparation.

An ex colleague of mine always said, “It’s not the best candidate that gets the job, it’s the candidate best prepared for the interview that gets the job.” This is very true.

Read on to find out how to avoid common interview mistakes that can put you in the reject pile.

Don’t be late to an interview

Being late to an interview is the first and worst mistake anyone can make. It shows that you disregard punctuality. The best thing to do is prepare for your interview as if it were 30 minutes earlier. Being 10-15 minutes early for an interview is usually expected.

Don’t neglect your appearance

Matching your wardrobe to the position and one step up is generally expected. If you are interviewing for an office/corporate role, it is generally expected that you wear a suit. Hygiene is also something you shouldn’t ignore. It is unacceptable not to shower and put on deodorant before an interview. Another point I should mention is that your suit should be dry cleaned before each interview.

Don’t neglect to do research on the organisation

This is one of the most vital points I have to mention. When you do the research of an organisation, you may go to their website, look at their mission statement, find out how long they have been in business, etc.

Don’t communicate poorly

It’s best to listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying so that you don’t have to ask them to repeat themselves.

Don’t use bad body language

An interview generally starts with a handshake. You want to be firm when doing this. Once you sit in the designated spot, do not cross your arms. It shows that you have something to hide. In addition, eye contact is very important, but do not stare at the interviewer as this can make him or her very uncomfortable.

Don’t be negative

It’s important that you present yourself in a positive light. Also, it’s advisable not to argue with the interviewer as this can be seen as work feuds to come.

Don’t lie

Lying at the interview will most likely show in your work. If you do not know a skill, do not say you know it. They will find out!

Don’t forget to ask questions

This shows that you are interested in the role. The question should be relevant to the position. For instance, a good question may be, “Can you tell me more about the work environment here?”

And finally…

Wait to ask the money questions. Naturally you want to know how much the job pays. A good interviewer may tell you toward the end of the session, but it is a mistake to raise the issue of compensation too early in the job search process.

Reinvent Your Career would like to thank the Yahoo! 7 Finance where this article first appeared.

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