Park has been coordinating interviews with employers in Jersey for over 35 years so we know their main interview bugbears. So, land the job you want by avoiding these all too common interview faux pas!
Lack of preparation
You must read the job description; check out the company website & LinkedIn profiles of the interviewers. Think about why you want to work for the organisation and how your skills and experience match their vacancy.
Interviewers love enthusiastic people. They love them because they convey a sense that they will go the extra mile to excel in the role. A lack of enthusiasm can often be seen as a lack of interest which is a deal breaker. So, be positive and prove that you want and are the right person for the job.
Not providing specific examples
It’s easy to say that you can do the job, but employers want you to provide clear examples of when you have demonstrated the skills or behaviours required to fulfil the role instead of making vague claims. Practice your answers in advance and use ‘I’ not ‘we’ wherever possible.
Bad mouthing former colleagues & employers
Nobody wants to work with a complainer or a back-stabber. Never criticise a previous manager, colleague or employer. Aim to give the impression of a capable, team-playing professional who would fit in and not be difficult to manage.
Always err on the side of caution. Leggings/jeggings and flip-flops are not acceptable ladies even if you have a dress down day at work and guys should always wear a jacket, which can be taken off once you have greeted the interviewer.
Failing to ask any questions
Ask intelligent questions at the interview to clarify your responsibilities and to show that you're someone who wants to make an impact. Ask about short and long-term priorities and how the role affects the organisation as a whole.
Arrogance is not the same as confidence. While confidence is appreciated and received well by interviewers, arrogance serves as a turnoff. Remember the interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.
Winging the interview
If you haven’t prepared and don’t even know which role you are interviewing for, don’t bother showing up as it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
Failure to talk through your CV
You should know your CV inside out and be able to talk through it with ease. Remember to explain any gaps in employment, drill down on previous roles and responsibilities relevant to the post you are applying for and most importantly highlight your achievements.
Poor body language
Greet the interviewer with a smile, no need for a hug or air kisses but make eye contact and offer a firm handshake when you arrive. Then sit upright during the interview, don’t slouch or fidget.
A few final tips…
- Don’t bomb the weakness question & know your strengths! ‘I am a perfectionist’ or ‘I work too hard’ are cliché answers, think harder.
- Don’t mention salary in the first meeting.
- Remember to turn your phone off and be don’t be late.