Top 6 Mistakes To Avoid In Your Next Interview

Updated: January 16, 2024

So, you’ve figured out what job is right for you, applied with your shiny new CV and have been successful for an interview. Next up, learning how to make the right first impression. You’ve probably had your fair share of interview advice – dress to impress, go in with a firm handshake and always ask questions at the end. You know the deal. Now, we are going to share what not to do. Presenting…

GEAB’s Top Six Mistakes to Avoid in Your Next Interview  

1. Not knowing enough about the company  

This is super important if you don’t want to look foolish. One of the key questions you are guaranteed to be asked is what you know about the organisation. If you fail to prepare for this, it will look like you don’t really have an interest in the company.

To research a company:

– Look through the company’s website, for example their about, blog and culture pages

– Scroll through their social media accounts and see what they are getting up to

– Search for them on the news section of Google

Do you want to make yourself stand out? Put some extra effort in and find out some quirkier details about the company. For example, did you know that the name IKEA is actually an acronym. Doing this will grab the interviewer’s attention and make a lasting impression.

2. Showing up late  

This is a big no-no. It is never a good idea to show up late for an interview, in fact, it’s one for the worst mistakes you can make. It shows a lack of time management, suggests that you can’t even be bothered to try and just looks like you are not serious about the role. Always, always give yourself enough time just in case you come across some obstacles that may hold you back.

3. Dressing inappropriately 

This all depends on the company you have an interview for, but most organisations will have a particular dress code to follow. We all know that tracksuits are comfortable, and slippers keep your feet warm, but they are not suitable for a job interview. If in doubt, play it safe and go for smart or at the very least, smart casual.

4. Negative body language  

We all know interviews can be nerve racking and hiring managers are aware of that. However, they are still looking for someone who can present themselves well, especially your body language. Strong eye contact is often the top thing interviewers look out for. It shows confidence, that you are engaged and helps build a social connection.

The same goes for your body posture. The way we present ourselves says a lot about our thoughts and feelings, and the interviewer will pick up on this almost immediately. Fidgeting in your seat and looking away may show that you are lacking confidence, whereas reclining in your seat will show that you are bored or even don’t have much respect for the interviewer or company.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

– Keep a straight posture as soon as you enter the interview room

– Smile genuinely

– Maintain eye contact

– Don’t go overboard with hand gestures

– Nod to show that you are actively listening

5. Your phone rings  

So, it might not be entirely your fault if your phone rings but, forgetting to turn it off or even putting it on silent is your fault. If your phone rings during an interview not only can it be embarrassing, but it also shows that you are not taking the process seriously if your phone notifications are more important than a potential job. Of course, we are aware that your phone may need to be left on in case of an emergency, if that is so, please let the interviewer know beforehand.

6. Bad-mouthing your previous employer   

More than likely, your interviewer will ask why you are leaving your current role (if you are already employed) however, this is not the opportunity to start bad-mouthing your boss and the company. No matter how true it all is, slamming your employer will ring alarm bells in your interviewer’s mind that you may be difficult to work with or can’t be trusted. Cut out the personal remarks and be wary that every single comment you make will be noted.

Instead, emphasise that you are looking for a new challenge and the chance to develop on your skills further. Just remember, always remain positive about the job and the company.