Interviewing is stressful, and for many people, this stress can cause people to make mistakes. Here are the three biggest mistakes that people make while interviewing and how and why to avoid them.
Mistake 1: Dishonesty
Dishonesty in an interview can range from saying what you think the interviewer wants to hear through to telling an outright lie. Let’s take a look at each scenario separately.
First, saying what you think the interviewer wants to hear will, in most cases, come across as phony. The main objective in an interview should be to present the best version of yourself. If you spend your time “gaming” the interview, then you are not being authentic. Although the interviewer may smile and nod, they will sense that you are not being sincere and this could cost you the job. In addition, your authentic answer to the question may, in fact, be a much better answer than the one you think the interviewers want to hear. As a result, you could be ‘shooting yourself in the foot’ by not being genuine in your answers.
Second, lying is never a good idea. Most savvy interviewers can detect when someone is lying to them, and if caught, then you lies will most certainly cost you the job. For arguments sake, let’s just say that you are a fantastic liar (if so, whatever you do – do not add this to your resume under special skills). If you lie about having a particular skill or qualification and you are hired based on that skill, you run the risk of having an uncomfortable conversation with your boss or, at worst, your employment terminated.
The bottom line is: honesty is the best policy!
Mistake 2: Arrogance
Most people strive for being confident in an interview, but being over confident can be a deal-breaker. I have seen this more with internal candidates and those who were referred by the hiring manager. It gives the impression that the candidate thinks that they have the job ‘in the bag’ and by attending the interview, they are merely checking a box in the recruitment process. Not only can this leave a bad taste in the interviewer’s mouth, but you may also be selling yourself short. By not fully engaging in the interview process, you may end up leaving out pertinent information in the interview that could mean the difference between getting the job and being outperformed by another candidate.
For some, going into an interview is incredibly nerve-wracking and they try to overcompensate their nervousness by exuding confidence. This can backfire and make it look as though you are arrogant. For all of the reasons mentioned above, it is important to maintain a level of modesty in the interview so that you do not appear overly confident.
Preparing for the interview by practicing common interview questions should help to reduce anxiety. Pausing to collect your thoughts in an interview will also help to calm your nervousness. Just remember, even though you may be a front-runner in the interview process, someone else may outshine you.
Mistake 3: Unprepared
As mentioned in a previous blog post, being prepared for an interview is paramount to performing well. Ensuring that you have done your research on the job and company will help you to showcase your skills in the context of the employer’s needs. Preparing your answers to common interview questions will help you feel more confident in the interview. Finally, preparation for the interview may even make you excited about the role and company.
In summary, through proper practice and preparation, and presenting the best version of yourself, you should be able to avoid these common and potentially interview-killing mistakes.
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