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Common Interview Mistakes

Reviewing common interview mistakes can help you recognize problem areas before you encounter them. This can also help prepare to ensure that your behaviour meets the standards expected of candidates.

Poor body language & improper dress
You need to make a positive first impression. So you need to pay some attention to that impression. Have a practiced handshake. Sit and stand upright, make eye contact and don’t fidget. Check our tips on body language. Be dressed appropriately for an interview – not necessarily, for how you might dress on the job. Yes, all of these hold true for video interviews (except the handshake).

Not Listening
From the very beginning, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not listening, with an ear to asking questions, you are miss an opportunity. Non-verbal listening cues such as nodding, or even taking a note, can demonstrate interest. Of course so does a follow-up question.

Talking Too Much
This is not a time for you to be pouring out a life story. Answers should be concise, and to the point. Don’t ramble. Don’t go on at length with an example unless asked. Interestingly, people who talk too much often do so to cover the fact that they don’t really want to answer the interviewer’s question.

Don’t Answer the Questions
Interviewers are trying to determine a fit based on past behaviour. If you don’t directly answer the question, usually with a supporting example, you lose that chance to show your character.

Don’t Ask Questions
When asked if they have any questions, many candidates answer, “No.” Always, always ask questions, as it indicates interest. There are “softball” questions you can ask almost any interviewer (e.g. “Tell me about the company culture”), but anything specific you can ask shows comprehension of the discussion so far.

Repress it. Don’t try to dazzle with charisma, or treat the interviewer as a buddy. Don’t try to show you are down-to-earth by using inappropriate language. And above all, don’t be cocky or arrogant (“Oh yeah, I could do this job with my eyes closed”). These are all red flags and show disrespect for the interviewer, as you are essentially trying to subvert their process.

Interest Level
It is important to show respect for the process, and the interviewer by not outright dismissing the opportunity if you don’t see a fit. And if you are very interested, please don’t appear desperate. Nobody wants a needy employee.

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