No-gos in an interview:
Watch out for these interview blunders!
Arrived too late? Lacking self-confidence? Or lacking knowledge about your dream company? An interview isn’t an easy undertaking. Because this is mainly where the decision is made on whether or not you’ll fill the vacant position in the future – provided that you still want it afterwards.
With good preparation, you can prevent no-gos during your interview with your potential employer.
The 6 most common mistakes in an interview
Be it nervousness, the wrong outfit or simply the wrong questions: There are many interview no-gos – and there isn’t much which hasn’t gone wrong on previous occasions during an interview.
We’ll tell you which mistakes you should absolutely avoid in an interview, and how to put your personality and your technical expertise in the best light.
No-gos in an interview: Lateness
The academic fifteen minutes – not a trivial offence in an interview. Of course, you can always be caught in traffic due to unexpected roadworks, or a close relative might have an accident just a few hours before the interview, of course: But it doesn't usually prevent you from informing your potential employer about your delay in good time. This also applies to an online interview, of course. Check your Internet connection and familiarise with the software you will be using. After all, you want to give the impression that you are tech-savvy in 2022. The following principle applies: Be honest. And give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview. After all, you also want to be treated with the required respect. And one more tip: Don't arrive too early, either. Five minutes is acceptable. If you’ve arrived 15 or even 30 minutes early, kill time in another way and go for a little walk around the building before the interview.
No-gos in an interview: You don’t know enough about the company
Simply applying and testing whether you are invited: This strategy might work. But at the end of the day you have to show your colours in the interview and be interested and motivated – and know all about your potential new company or employer. But it is not only your time that is being invested, but also that of your interview partner. You should therefore prepare intensely for the interview. Find out as much as you can about the company culture and the products or services of the company. In this way, you will create the best pre-requisites for an open discussion where both parties can discover whether they are a good match and the mutual expectations of both parties can be fulfilled.
No-gos in an interview: Your choice of clothing is unsuitable
In some companies, you may be able to turn up to work in shorts during the spring and summer months. However, both men and women should dress appropriately for an interview, and not be too casually dressed. In law firms, well-known corporations and agencies there is usually a dress code. Perhaps you can get an idea of how your interview partner will dress from the company’s website or social media profile. Clothing may well be creative in certain sectors, but you should always make sure that your clothes are clean and properly fitting.
No-go in the interview: Speaking badly of your current employer
Of course, you shouldn’t tell lies in your interview. But you also don’t need to tell them everything that you think about your current employer. Avoid being too critical or getting into a rant – particularly if you’re frustrated with your current company. Remain diplomatic and look optimistically towards the future. In the interview, share what appeals to you about the position, and how you want to develop your skills and your character. In connection with this, you could mention that you cannot achieve these goals with your current employer. When it comes to the question of your possible start date, you should mention how long you are still contracted to your current company. Here too, the following applies: Remain honest and be clear about the amount of time left on your contract with your current employer. If the company is desperately looking for reinforcements and you are the perfect match, they will wait for you.
No-gos in an interview: Lack of self-confidence
Would you want to work with a manager who lacks self-confidence? Exactly. You therefore need to use your facial expressions and body language to signal: “I am the perfect person for this role – and you’ll be making a big mistake if you don't hire me.” Be convinced of your capabilities and make it clear where you can specifically support the company. You should work out these reasons beforehand and also memorise them. If you had any successes at your current company which you can verify with statistics: You should definitely share them. Don’t worry about whether it might make you appear pretentious. Concentrate on the facts. For example, share how big your successfully completed project was, how many project days were calculated and what the budget was. And openly mention the turnover increase that was achieved by your performance – depending on the type of position you're applying for. If you find this difficult: Carry out a practice interview with a friend or your partner. And be open to their honest feedback and tips. You can only improve from this.
No-gos in an interview: You are too passive
You can recite your CV in your sleep and answer technical questions perfectly. If you think the job is in the bag, you're mistaken. This is because HR employees who are looking specifically for specialists and management staff expect somewhat more presence from you. Think about topics which you could (and must) ask specific questions about beforehand. Discuss the trends in the respective sector and specifically ask how the company is reacting to this current situation. Also provide your own suggestions about the possible options and which ones appear sensible to you. This does not only demonstrate your interest, but also conveys a certain “hands-on mentality” and your knowledge of the industry. And these are exactly the characteristics which recruiters are looking for.
Conclusion: Avoid mistakes in your interview like you would a test
An interview feels like a test to the majority of applicants. After all, at the end of the day, this is your career you’re talking about. You don’t want to make a mistake, you have to fulfil every requirement and you must also present yourself in the best light. Concentrate on showing your strengths and back them up them with facts.
At the same time you should be honest about your weaknesses. Putting your own abilities in the best possible light without reflecting on them doesn’t seem very human and tends to sideline you. Consider this: You should pay less attention to weaknesses which could stand in the way of you getting the job. During the interview, focus on how you can acquire or have acquired additional skills and that you are working on your personal development in a purposeful way.
You can reliably avoid interview no-gos with good preparation. If you believe experienced career advisers, many recruiters and interviewers put value on good posture and self-confident body language.
However, applicants can often find it challenging to cease nervous habits and ingrained behaviours. After all, a situation such as this is a mental challenge, which is why we all make little mistakes during an interview.
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