5 common interview mistakes

Want to know what you should not do when trying to find work in Zambia? Take a look at these 5 common interview mistakes and learn from the mistakes that others have made.

1. Bad first impression

When attending job interviews first impressions really do count! Turning up late / flustered / inappropriately dressed / poorly prepared will create an unsatisfactory first impression. Would you want to hire an individual who displayed these traits? The aim therefore is to make a positive impression. Turn up early, dress appropriately and undertake as much research (see #2) into the role and the organisation as you can. Remember to be polite and professional with all those with whom you come into contact. Interviewers will often ask others for their thoughts so be polite and professional to all.

2. Lack of research

Think you can turn up at an interview without any research – think again. If you haven’t done your research you can be sure that someone else has and that this will give them an advantage. So what type of research should you need to perform? Obviously a good place to start is the job description. Make sure that you read the job description and requirements. Pick up on the language that the organisation uses. Does the organisation want a target-driven sales professional or a customer focused sales assistant? Try and think of some questions that you may be asked and practice answering these questions in advance. Many interviewers will ask you to talk about your understanding of the organisation and the role so performing some research in advance will give you the best chance of success.

3. CV faux pas

Make sure that the information contained in your CV is correct and be prepared to answer questions regarding your skills and experience. If you state on your application that you speak French don’t be surprised if the interviewer asks you to translate something. Similarly, if you state that you are an experienced accountant don’t be surprised to be asked accountancy based questions. Remember that all the information on your CV should be correct! A small lie or an exaggeration may harm your chances of getting a job more than showing a slight lack of skill or experience. Honesty really is the best policy.

4. Failure to ask questions

An interview is a two-way process. It is an opportunity for an employer to find out more about you but is also an opportunity for you to find out about the employer. Leaving a job to take up another job is often a very big decision and you need to be as sure as you can that this is the right decision for you. Asking questions will help you to find out more about the organisation, the role and your suitability for the role. Done correctly, it will also show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the role and whether this is the right job for both parties. Failing to ask questions can be deemed to show a lack of preparation so make sure you prepare a couple of questions in advance.

5. Forget the follow-up

We all know that interviews can be stressful. For some of us it is a natural reaction to let out a big sigh of relief and try to forget about the whole experience. Interviewers can also be forgetful so it is a good idea (unless otherwise informed) to send a follow up letter or email. The follow-up email or letter should thank the employer for their time and should re-assert and re-affirm your suitability for the role. Sending a follow-up letter shows the employer that you are organised and professional. It also provides them with a reminder as your skills and experience and could be the difference between getting the job or not.

Comments

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