Five job interview mistakes you’re making and how to fix them

November 09, 2016
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Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy… yep, this is pretty much what interviews feel like. But unfortunately, it’s going to become an inescapable part of your life after you leave uni. It’s important to be confident and prepared so you can walk in there and make that interview your bitch.

Here are some of the most common interview mistakes that you need to watch out for.

You’re not asking questions

Nearly every interview concludes with the interviewer asking “Do you have any questions?”

The worst thing you can say is no. It makes you look uninterested and unprepared. Do your research and think of some questions you could ask beforehand that will show how eager you are. Good questions will make the interviewer remember you, so pick a good one. This can also help you to determine whether this job will be right for you.

You’re not elaborating on your answers

We all get a little nervous in interviews. Sometimes when you get asked a question you know the answer to, it all gets jumbled in your head and it doesn’t come out like you had hoped it would.

It’s important to sound articulate and well-spoken in your interview. They will be looking for someone with good communication skills that can make them realise why you should be hired. Rehearse your answers beforehand so you can walk in there feeling confident.

You’re not dressing the part

This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s important. You’ve probably heard the saying ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have,’ please don’t take this literally and walk into the office dressed as Elsa (unless you’re applying to work at Disneyland).

Don’t be afraid to dress more on the formal side, but make sure your interview outfit fits with the industry and company style. For a professional position, of course you should wear a suit/formal attire. But if you’re applying for a life guard position at a local swimming pool, then a suit won’t look right. Go for neat, casual attire for a clean look.

You’re still angry

When an interviewer asks you about your previous employers, don’t ever bad mouth them. If your last boss was an asshole and you hated everyone who worked there with a deep fiery passion that burns in the depths of your soul, don’t tell them (even if it’s true).

First of all it makes you look unprofessional. Secondly, it’s a small world and you never know who your interviewer might know. And lastly, you don’t want the interviewer to think that you might speak like that about their company if you ever choose to leave. So quit your bitchin.

You’re not smiling!

If you never smile, have a limp handshake and don’t make eye contact, you’re going to come across as too shy, rude or simply uninterested. Remember to shake hands before you start the interview and again when you finish. When we are nervous we forget to smile because we are focusing too hard on not screwing up the interview. Take a deep breath, smile and act as though you are genuinely happy to meet the interviewer, and soon you will be.

Sophie Nicolas

Sophie is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and is an aspiring writer, dog enthusiast and thrift shop fashion icon.

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