The 3 Most Common Interview Mistakes – And How To Avoid Making Them

Got a big job interview coming up? We chatted to an interview expert to find out how to avoid the pitfalls and score that deadly job.

devil wears prada

Job interviews can be hella scary, espesh if your potential new boss is as scary as The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly, above. What if you say the wrong thing, draw a blank, or worse, completely fluff it and get rejected for that dream role? We chatted to Orla Donagher, careers consultant at The Interview Tutor, who told us that there are three common mistakes that people make when they’re being interviewed for a job. Lucky for you, she also told us how to avoid making them, so you can give an award-worthy performance under questioning.

1 Failing to prepare

“Candidates can be a bit hazy on the details of their CV,” explains Orla. “Especially, if it’s a job they had a few years ago. Others may not have done adequate research on the company they are interviewing for. To nix it you need to know your CV inside out. “Familiarise yourself with all of the previous jobs and projects you’ve worked on and comb through the job specification line by line,” she suggests. “Then identify five or six of your strongest selling points, that tie in with what the company is looking for.” Once you’ve done that all you need to do is remember your skills and rhyme them off at the interview.

2 Not tailoring your answers

“When I mock interview clients, I find they often give generic or irrelevant information in their answers. Remember, at the interview the employer is trying to determine if you have the right mix of experience, skills and competencies to do the job,” Orla explains. “Try to get inside their head. What are they looking for?,” she asks. “The job specification will give you a big hint if you’re unsure. Once you’ve identified your most relevant skills for the job, you can work that info into your answers.”

3 Not asking questions

The interview is finishing up. Time to relax, yeah? No, says Orla. “I find at this point many candidates switch off, relieved that the interview is over. Big mistake,” she warns. “Having no questions gives the impression that you’re not really that interested in the job, while asking questions about topics which have already been discussed shows you weren’t listening.”

The solution? “Before you meet them think about what kind of information you would like to know. Have at least four or five pre-thought out questions. Some good examples are, what will the first three months of the job involve, what projects will I be working on and what challenges do you see within the role? Avoid asking money, benefits, and holidays at this stage unless they bring it up.”

The bottom line, “Not preparing well for the big day will often lead to a poor or inarticulate performance,” warns Orla. “Do your research, know your strengths, and ask well thought out questions to ensure you really dazzle them.”