21 interview mistakes that could cost you your dream job | EPS Recruitment Agency Singapore

Job Interview mistakes to avoid

Hunting for a new job can be stressful and time-consuming, but once you’ve managed to secure a job interview or two the nerves really start to kick in. Knowing the mistakes to avoid during an interview is just as important as having a polished resume and strong references as the hiring manager’s first impression of you hinges on that. Follow these top tips of what you shouldn’t do in a job interview so that you can have a better chance of landing in your dream job.

Here is the ultimate list of interview mistakes to avoid:

1. Be early

Don’t be late for your job interview. Being late will immediately give a bad impression to the interviewer. It is the most obvious job interview tip, but many people do struggle with punctuality. Plan your route well in advance to ensure you know the way. Assuming you may be delayed for whatsoever reason, do give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your job interview location about 10 minutes early. This will show that you are keen on the job role and emphasize your ability to be punctual.  

2. Review your key points

Do remember to go over your resume and achievements prior to the job interview. When the interviewer questions you about this, you should be able to answer them straight away without referring to your resume and be able to elaborate on important details on the job achievements.  

3. Dress well

Find out what people wear in advance if possible. Do dress smartly and be sure that your clothes are clean and ironed, if necessary. Make sure that you maintain good personal hygiene. Hair should be washed, nails should be clean and trimmed and be sure to take measures to ensure you don’t have any body odour. Avoid slippers and shorts.  

4. Don’t smoke

Don’t smoke before going into your job interview. Even if your interviewer smokes too, chances are they don’t want to smell the remnants of your last cigarette lingering in the room for the duration of your job interview.  

5. Silence your cell phone

Do remember to switch your phone off. Even if it’s on silent, you may have an alarm you forgot about go off in the middle of the job interview which will definitely come across as unprofessional and ‘alarming’.  

6. Avoid slang

Don’t use slang or curse words when speaking with the employer. Even if you feel it is a very casual situation, or you are a bit nervous, it’s always best to come off as being polite.  

7. Speak professionally

Do speak eloquently and think about how what you’re saying will come across to the hiring managers. Think in advance about what makes you the best person for the job role and be confident. Avoiding colloquialisms and fillers such as “um” and “like” will definitely give the hiring manager a better impression of you.  

8. Watch your body language

Don’t slouch in your seat or make other gestures that may suggest disinterest in either being at the job interview or what the interviewer is talking about.  

9. Be engaged

Do sit up straight, avoid excessive fidgeting, and be genuinely engaged with the interviewer. Behaving in any other way is likely to come off as disrespectful and unprofessional.  

10. Don’t lie or over-exaggerate

Don’t lie or over-exaggerate when answering questions about your past employment and job achievements. More likely than not you will be found out. Rather than run the risk of being exposed later, be truthful about your job accomplishments and focus on skills that could be valuable in the new job role.  

11. Avoid personal discussions

Don’t discuss your views on controversial topics or personal issues you may be experiencing. This is not the right time for them.  

12. Stay on topic

Listen carefully to their questions and try to stay on topic and keep answers concise and relevant. You will miss out on making your point if you ramble on about things irrelevant to the questions you’re being asked.  

13. Don’t dictate your resume

Don’t answer the interviewer’s questions by simply reading points straight off a copy of your resume that you have in front of you. Think about what job skills you have learned and developed from previous job roles rather than just listing what you did.  

14. Don’t be a gossip

Don’t talk about past employers or colleagues in a negative or gossipy way. It’s likely to set alarm bells ringing with your prospective employer.  

15. Discuss your skills

Do share, in a clear and objective manner, what you learned from challenging situations at your previous job and how these acquired skills can be used in this role.  

16. Make eye contact

Don’t forget to make eye contact and smile. Your interviewer(s) will be trying to work out if you will fit in and get on with others.  

17. Show your confidence

Do show that you’re a confident individual by maintaining eye contact while speaking to the employer. Smiling during the job interview will not only show that you are friendly, but you will also appear to be relaxed even if the opposite is true.  

18. Be prepared to elaborate

Don’t draw blanks or answer questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Take your time to give a proper reply and elaborate more than just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  

19. Provide specific examples

Don’t use vague and meaningless phrases such as “I’m a good team player” and “I’m a people person”. Instead, provide specific examples of how you’ve worked as part of a team or have developed people you’ve managed in the past job roles.  

20. Ask the right questions

Do understand that asking intelligent questions about the company and the job role shows that you’re interested in the job and the company and that you have done the appropriate research.  

21. Put in the effort

Don’t hand over a patchy resume or samples of your work that look like they’ve been mauled by a dog. Print them in colour on good-quality paper and present them in a folder.   Good luck and all the best for your job interview!

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