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Five common interview mistakes

4 minutes

With high volumes of applicants for most jobs advertised it is a huge achievement to stand o...

With high volumes of applicants for most jobs advertised it is a huge achievement to stand out from the crowd and be invited for an interview. Unfortunately, whilst you can look like a fantastic candidate on paper, the potential to fall at the last hurdle is high and it can be something as simple as a cartoon duck tie that can damage your chances of becoming the successful candidate.

We asked Meridian’s team of recruitment consultants what were the most common interview mistakes.

1. Conducting no research on the company they are interviewing for

You put yourself at a disadvantage before the interview begins if you fail to prepare in advance. With 66% of recruitment consultants listing lack of research as the most common interview mistake made, it’s clear that you cannot get away with merely having a quick look at a company’s website.

Over-looking why you would want to work for a company you know nothing about, lack of research suggests to the interviewer that you are not truly serious about working for their company. Reading the company’s website, industry publications, and using your professional network are all ways you can learn more about a company’s priorities, position, and competitors. This information will help you demonstrate how your skills and experience will benefit the company and their future plans.

2. Bad language

An incredible 43% of recruitment consultants listed the use of bad language as a common interview mistake. Even if your interviewer is prolific with the profanities remain professional at all times.

3. Negative body language

While not making eye contact or having a weak handshake may be no more than a touch of interview nerves, it can also imply a lack of confidence and can even be seen as a sign of dishonesty. Other negative signals most of us are guilty of at some point include slouching, crossing our arms across our chest, and swinging our legs.

4. Inappropriate clothing

“I once had a candidate turn up wearing a crocodile onesie, having come to the interview straight from a stag do!” says Onsite Staffing Manager, Charlotte Edwards. Wearing inappropriate clothing is clearly a trend with 34% of Meridian’s consultants listing it as a common interview mistake.

While a three-piece suit may be not suitable for every company you interview for, it is important to dress smartly and appropriately for every interview. Remember, first impressions count, so make sure you’re dressed snappy (get-it!?).

5. Poor time keeping

Some things are out of our control, but traffic jams and delayed public transport should always be planned for, as walking into an interview late, even with a valid excuse will test your interviewer’s patience. Plan your route and if possible make the journey beforehand, aiming to arrive at least 30 minutes before your interview starts.

For more advice on preparing for your interview, visit our careers toolkit.