14 mistakes to avoid at interview

I recently asked some of my trusted contacts for their ‘interview don’ts’… here are some of the ones they came up with, all from personal experience as either a candidate or an interviewer.

1. Don’t arrive too early. You could either accidentally crash the interviewers prepping on Zoom, or look awkwardly keen hovering in the office reception. Obviously don’t be late either. Arrive on time.

2. Don’t wear inappropriate attire. Research the dress code of the company and dress accordingly. If it is a casual environment don’t wear a suit and tie. Even on Video call, wear a suitable bottom half.

3. Don’t drink too much coffee before the interview. Or Red Bull. Or anything else that will make you overly energetic.

4. Don’t talk too much. Listen to what is being asked without interrupting, answer concisely and then stop talking.

5. Don’t swear. Even if it is a relaxed and informal discussion, this is still an interview. Be professional.

6. Don’t forget to have a pen and paper handy so you can make notes.

7. Don’t get the name of the company or the interviewer wrong. You could write their names in your notebook as a prompt.

8. Don’t be negative about your current or previous employer or line manager. Even if they were a nightmare. Find a way to frame things professionally and let them read between the lines.

9. Don’t ignore some of the interviewers. Don’t let your unconscious bias make assumptions about the relative importance of the interviewers and only talk to one of them. It is important to build rapport with all of them, regardless of position, age, gender.

10. Don’t be boring. Even though it is a ‘serious’ meeting, and you want to demonstrate your credibility, you can still show some of your personality and draw on examples of interesting projects you have worked on. Show your passion.

11. Don’t fail to ask the interviewer questions. Always have some intelligent questions prepared which demonstrate the quality research you have done into the organisation.

12. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Be authentic and ensure there is a genuine fit with the hiring manager and the organisation. Remember interviewing is a two way process.

If you are on video:

13. Don’t let the camera detract from how great you are. Avoid sitting in front of a bright window so your face is in darkness or having the camera at a strange angle so the interviewer can see up your nose. Look into the camera when you are talking and have it at eye level.

14. Don’t sit in front of your drying laundry (or even worse, have a family member walk in carrying your ironing during the interview…)

For more interview tips head to: How to nail it at interview

If you would like to learn more about my programmes and working with me visit my invest page and get in touch for an exploratory call.

Photo by Andy Beales on Unsplash

2 responses to “14 mistakes to avoid at interview”

  1. Debbie Pask says:

    Great blog post Ellie. Love it! Have a cracking weekend.

  2. Khaled says:

    Very useful advices . Thanks.