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The Worst Interview Mistakes (According to Recruiters)

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Congratulations on securing an interview; your application must have been outstanding! But while you had the time to tweak and perfect your experience on paper, explaining your best assets in an interview can be quite a different story, especially when there’s nowhere to hide. We asked recruiters for their biggest interview blunders, so you know what to avoid. Familiarize yourself with the following interview mistakes to be sure that your performance is strong.

Arrogance or rudeness

Confidence will get you far in an interview. Not only can it show that you believe in your abilities, it also convinces the recruiter you’re a great asset too. However, too much confidence can turn into arrogance which ultimately results in rudeness. This is an absolute no go, especially since 84.9% of recruiters rank this as their top interview pet peeve.To avoid appearing arrogant or rude, keep your self-awareness in check. So, instead of swaggering about assuming you’ve landed the job, prove your abilities with facts, figures, and statistics.

Poor preparation

73% of recruiters rank poor preparation as their biggest interview turn-off – and it’s not hard to see why. Job interviews take a lot of time to prep and plan for. They’re a serious ordeal for employers since this process is the stepping stone to supporting and engaging the growth of their organization. Therefore, if you haven’t prepared appropriately for the interview, not only is it a disadvantage to you, as you won’t have showcased your talent, the employer will look at it as a waste of their time. It’s essential that you prepare for an interview because you will need to respond to questions in relevant detail. Make sure you research the company, familiarize yourself with the job spec and your resume and practice common interview questions to ensure you’re at your best during the interview.

Dressing inappropriately

Before your interview, you should be aware of the dress code. More often than not it will be business professional, but if you’re looking to join a start-up, it might be more casual.52.6% of recruiters rank dressing inappropriately as an interview don’t. Not only does it suggest that you can’t follow instructions, but it also shows that you might not be a fit for the company culture if you don’t look the part. Make sure you double-check the dress code the day before your interview to ensure you’re looking prepared and show you’re taking the opportunity seriously.

Arriving too early or late

While arriving late is an obvious interview mistake, you might not realize that arriving too early is another faux pas – according to 29.6% of recruiters. By all means leave plenty of time in case there are any unexpected hiccups en route. However, if you arrive half an hour early, you’ll be the unexpected hiccup for the recruiter as they may not have everything set up for you just yet. To avoid this interview mistake, try to get to your interview around 10 minutes before it’s due to start. If you’re any earlier, hang back for a while and use the time to go through your interview prep. If you’re going to be late, make sure you call the recruiter as soon as you can to see what the best course of action is.

You’re quite shy

Interview nerves are common because of the pressure to perform well when the stakes are high. But 13.2% of recruiters are frustrated by excessively shy candidates, and so you can’t afford to let your nerves affect your performance.To stay in control, try to address your unfounded fears by writing a list of your potential concerns. Then counter them with positive, logical statements to diminish their significance. In addition, try to channel your nervous energy into excitement – much like an actor turns nerves into performance energy, and you’re sure to cast a winning performance too. Check out our full Interview Resource for more tips and tricks to ace your next interview. 

About the author: Laura Slingo is digital copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

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