Candidates spend a lot of time focusing on what they should do during interviews, but have you ever wondered what you shouldn't do? We spoke to our Talent Acquisition Manager, Andrea, to find out what the most common weaknesses are when it comes to potential candidates and interviews.
- Not confirming receipt of the interview confirmation emails.
Once an interview is offered and confirmed, it’s vital that you reply to the email to let the hiring manager know that you have received and accepted the interview date and time. You don’t want to fall at the first hurdle before the interview has even happened. Replying to confirm is general courtesy and it also shows that you have the correct approach to business manners.
- Arriving late to the interview
Punctuality is key, especially when you are interviewing for a new role. Make sure that you leave enough time to get to your destination and arrive promptly. If you have any queries about your journey, make sure you ask your point of contact well before you are due to attend. Remember, first impressions count!
- Not researching the role/company
Having a basic understanding of the role and company that you are applying for is greatly appreciated by interviewers. It shows that you have put thought and dedication into researching your potential place of work and show some knowledge of the company’s vision and values. Going into an interview with zero knowledge of the role could make the interviewer think that you aren’t fully invested in the opportunity that you are being given and possibly lead to no offer. It is always useful to familiarise yourself with the interviewer prior to the interview, look them up on LinkedIn or the company website to get an understanding of their position in the company. Don’t be sold on a company’s career page alone, Glassdoor is a useful website for gaining an honest opinion on a business.
- Not preparing questions
The chances of your interviewer covering every single detail of the company in the given time are slim. So, if there’s anything specific that you need to know, whether it’s about the company, teams, culture, benefits or opportunities, make sure you have pre-prepared some questions to ensure that you get the correct answers. A really important question everyone should ask at the end of an interview is “do you have any reservations in my ability to do this role?” this will then allow you to answer any reservations the interviewer may have about you then and there, it will also give you a good indication as to how well you performed at the interview.
- Not dressing appropriately
Smart business attire is the go-to for interviews, unless you are in a specific industry which requires otherwise. Presenting yourself professionally shows your interviewer that you respect the business environment and can approach the situation with the correct manner.
- Not tailoring your CV to the job you have applied for
As a candidate you need to be aware that the interviewer will scrutinise every detail of a CV. If your CV says one thing and you are telling the hiring manager another, they will question your motivations and commitment to the role that you are applying for.
- Not showing an interest in the business you have applied to work at
It’s vital that you clearly show your motivations to want to work at the company you are interviewing at. You could be presented with a multitude of questions by the interviewing team to help them figure out whether you are the best fit for the role in question. Why do you want to switch roles? What made you want to apply to this company? What is it about this job role that motivates you? An interviewer is not only looking for a candidate to match the skill sets required to do the job, they are assessing cultural fit to their organisation, showing a passion for their business and culture will put you ahead of other suitable candidates.
- Not being able to provide references
References are a great way for employers to get a second opinion on a potential candidate if it’s needed. They also show that you have been a valued and respected member in your previous role. If there are any problems in regards to your references, give your point of contact a call and discuss how to go about the situation. This is a far more professional way to approach the subject and shows that you can act in the correct manner.
- Striking a balance in attitude
It’s important that you find mid-ground between being overly arrogant and too nervous. If you have confidence in your ability to do the role and can show how passionate you are to take on the challenge you will be fine. However, if you are over-confident then that could play to your disadvantage. Hiring managers not only focus on your abilities as a person but how well your persona will fit in with their current employees.
- Don't be over demanding at interview stage
If the company wants to employ you they will no doubt work with you at offer stage to make sure all parties are happy. The interview is your chance to sell yourself – the negotiations come after.