Are you making the same interview mistakes?

Michelle Donohoe 12.05.2015

Avoid these five blunders in your job search and make a great first and lasting impression with your next potential employer.

We can all take time to prepare the perfect CV which can make you look great on paper but, in real life, are you prepared well enough to live up to this “paper perfect self"? 

Arrive on time but not too early

One of the first lessons in job search etiquette is to arrive on time. To make sure you arrive on time know exactly where you are going. If unsure, test drive the route before the interview. The last thing you want is to end up getting lost and arriving late and flustered.

It is however also important to note that arriving too early can also create a poor first impression. Five to ten minutes is sufficient as it will give you a few minutes to be comfortable, but not too long that you are setting up camp in reception. Any earlier than 10 minutes is putting pressure on the interviewer and could potentially start you off on the wrong foot.

Poor handshake

A good handshake is the pinnacle of a good first impression. An interview can be blown right from the start if your hand shake is limp ‘like a dead fish’ or alternatively – the arm pump, like an aggressive salesman. Like any part of the interview make sure to prepare and practice your handshake.

Not preparing

As I have always said ‘preparing for an interview is half the battle.’ If you do not prepare you can’t presume that you will get the job. An interview panel will be able to tell quite quickly how much preparation you have done. Know your CV, understand the job description and have at least two well thought-out questions that reflect your knowledge of the position and the organisation.

Talking negatively about current or past employers

This is a big no-no when it comes to a good first impression. Speaking negatively in an interview can be the quickest way to talk yourself out of a job. When faced with a question about a previous employer ensure you are prepared with a positive spin on your employer and experience.

Not reading your audience

Communication is key! And mirroring the communication of the interviewer will help the interview flow better. For example – if the interviewer seems stern and quite business like don’t try and loosen them up with a joke. Ensure to stay business like. However if the interviewer is more personable maybe try discussing their interests and discussing a topical subject. Either way though you must remember if you are asked a direct questions – answer directly.

To many these five blunders to avoid may seem very obvious and basic, but to others this may well be the reason why they are not getting the job. 

Michelle Donohoe's picture
Talent Acquisition Specialist
mdonohoe@morganmckinley.ie