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Top 4 mistakes to avoid in an interview

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As we approach one of the busiest times in the recruitment calendar and with competition for jobs increasing, it's now more important than ever to put your best foot forward when attending an interview as it’s very hard to come back from a bad first impression.

Here are 4 common mistakes people make in interviews, especially at the Assistant/Executive level. Avoid these pitfalls and you will increase your chances of successfully landing your perfect role.

Lack of research

This may seem like an obvious point, however, one of the main critiques I get from Hiring Managers is that the candidate didn’t research the firm in enough detail and that they failed to show enthusiasm for the role.

It is so important to show that you have taken the time and the initiative to learn about a company and what they do. There is nothing worse for a Hiring Manager than a candidate turning up to an interview and not knowing anything about the company or the position.

By doing your research this speaks volumes to the employer in demonstrating effort and enthusiasm and you will increase your chances of being put forward to the next stage.

Being too familiar

It’s great if, in an interview, you build a good rapport with the Hiring Manager and feel comfortable with each other, but don’t lose sight that it is still an interview!

Using slang, overly relaxed body language and speaking to your interviewer like you would with your friends could come across as unprofessional and possibly ruin your chances in the process.

Not listening to the interviewer

Listening in an interview is highly important as it is common for nerves to take over and make you answer a question by going off tangent and talking about any skills you have, even if this doesn’t relate to the question.

Taking a moment to briefly pause, fully register the question and think about your answer will not put you in a bad position, especially if the answer you give is good and relevant! 

Getting sidetracked

This tends to happen when competency-based questions are being asked. Going off-topic or giving a long-winded answer can take away the impact of your answer.

You can prepare yourself by taking the time to go through all the possible competency-based questions for the role and prepare in advance the key points you could say. Make sure you stick to answering the question by giving those key points.

The four points above might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many candidates fail their interviews due to basic errors like these.

Remember to do your research, be professional at all times, listen to what the interviewer is asking and stick to the question and you’ll give yourself in the best possible chance of success. Good luck!

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