We think of interviews as opportunities. And they are. However, they aren’t just chances to advance our careers. They also include a very real possibility of disaster. They are opportunities to succeed, yes…but they also represent opportunities to fail.  

It’s up to you to lower this risk. You need to do what you can to sidestep common interview mistakes. 

You can meticulously plan most aspects of your career development. You can obsessively edit and proofread your resume. You can dedicate days to searching for the perfect positions. You can invest years in developing your skills and in filling out your work history. 

But an interview is different. It’s more like a live performance. You might get 30 to 45 minutes to make or break your career. It puts a lot of pressure on how you behave in that short span of time.  

You can’t control everything that happens in an interview. However, you can take steps to eliminate the worst-case scenarios. With that in mind, here are seven mistakes to avoid in your next interview: 

Mistake #1: Not Practicing  

If an interview is a performance, treat it that way. Actors rehearse lines before inviting an audience to watch them. You should do the same thing. Anticipate questions you’ll likely have to answer and practice your answers. That way, the interview itself will proceed more smoothly. 

Mistake #2: Being Late 

You should never arrive late to a job interview. Everyone knows this. But it still happens all the time. Why? Generally speaking, it happens because of a lack of preparation. Lower the risk of getting stuck in traffic or getting lost on the way. Leave for the meeting early, and scope your route ahead of time.  

Mistake #3: Regurgitating Your Resume 

You likely got the interview because the company was impressed by your resume. That’s the starting point. The interview is about going beyond. It’s your opportunity to highlight your unique value as an employee. As such, you shouldn’t simply regurgitate the information on your resume, as if you were giving a live reading of the document. Instead, provide information not readily apparent on your list of skills and former positions. 

Mistake #4: Not Knowing Enough about the Company or the Position 

Conduct significant research prior to the interview. It allows you to get the most out of the experience. After all, you only get a short time to meet with your interviewers. They are an excellent source of knowledge about the company and the position. Knowing a lot about the company and about the position allows you to have higher-level discussions, Plus, it’s important to impress them with your understanding of the situation.  

Mistake #5: Not Making the Right Pitch 

Getting hired is about creating a match. You have certain skills, and the company has certain needs. Ideally, these would pair these perfectly, so that you provide the perfect fit for the position being offered. To land the job, you want to know exactly the set of skills to highlight during the interview.  

Here’s another place where research comes in handy. Learn everything you can about the company, its brand, its management, and its customers. You can use this data to shape your answers and to hone your presentation. 

Mistake #6: Seeming Not to Care 

Most negotiations are won by the party most willing to walk away. That’s true. However, don’t think of an interview as a negotiation. That stage will come later, when an offer arrives. At this point, your prospective employer wants to know that you will bring enthusiasm and ambition to your new role. Don’t overdo it, of course. But make sure they know you’re excited about the opportunity. 

Mistake #7: Not Having Any Questions  

At the end of any interview, your prospective employer will ask, “do you have any questions?” “Nope” is not an acceptable answer. Have some queries prepared. It will help you learn more about the company and will keep the conversation going. 

Preparing for an interview can be stressful. However, the anxiety diminishes a bit when you know you’re perfect for the role. Working with a strong recruiting agency, like SmartTalent, puts you in the ideal situations for your skills and background. 

Contact SmartTalent today to learn how they can push your career forward. 

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