Top five interview mistakes

Recruiters and interviewers are all too familiar with job candidates who looked great on paper but who were absolute disasters on interview. With fewer opportunities available in a competitive job market, it’s crucial to make the best possible impression.

Talking for too long or offering too much detail.

The biggest mistake and cardinal sin is being boring. Interviewers can’t stand over-talkative candidates who drone on and on about the minutiae of their careers. Aim for responses that take no more than two to three minutes and always answer questions directly, avoiding tangents wherever you can. To prevent this from happening, nothing beats good preparation; practice, practice, practice, in role plays if possible. A professional interview coach will help you with this.

Failure to prepare for predictable interview questions.

Like all job seekers, you will have your own tough interview questions you hope will never be asked. The best strategy is to prepare and practice answers to all of these questions, but especially the predictable ones. Paying one of City CV’s interview coaches can be a great resource for putting a positive spin on challenging career situations or issues. If you’ve already paid them to write a great LinkedIn profile, or professional CV, then you’ll have a good idea how best to present your background to optimise your chances.

Failure to mirror communication styles.

Making a good first impression by projecting credibility and likeability is much easier to do when you match your interviewer’s communication style. Always let your interviewer set the agenda and tone of the conversation then reflect their style back at them. In other words, if they’re all business and pragmatism, be succinct yourself and don’t get informal. On the other hand, if they’re relaxed and talkative, ask them about themselves and their interests.

Giving away salary information and earnings expectations.

They may well ask, and recruitment consultants always do, because this information makes things simpler for them to close a deal. But it’s likely to lower your future income. Candidates weaken their future earning potential by talking too freely about current income. The official salary range of the position you are interviewing for is irrelevant; your current earnings have an enormous effect on the size of the offer. Investing in an executive coach from City CV will help you answer salary questions that can add thousands to your new job offer.

Expressing negativity towards your current or past employers.

Even if your last boss was a nightmare, always try to spin towards the positive and be discrete. No matter how reasonable or factual your impression of difficult experiences, your negative comments will be viewed as a possible sign of a troublesome employee. There’s always a way to make these issues sound like challenges overcome and learning experiences; make sure you are prepared with a positive spin on your experiences.

If you feel you need help preparing for future interviews, City CV can help. Our talented team of professional CV writers and interview coaches have over 100 years of collective experience, across a wide range of sectors, and we will tailor your interview sessions to your exacting needs. To find out how we can better your chances of succeeding at interview, give us a call on +44 20 7100 6656 or send an email to enquiries@citycv.com.

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