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“Ask lots of questions”, “make lots of eye contact”, “don’t make too much eye contact”, “bring them a home-made quiche in the shape of their company logo” …. From the good, to the bad to the just plain weird, as a recruitment agency we’ve just about all the interview tips and techniques there are out there! Having supported thousands of candidates into their dream jobs, we usually like to focus on ways in which to wow your interviewer at this crucial stage. However, it’s also worth taking a second to take note of the things you should avoid doing at an interview. Especially when a lot of these no-no’s often crop up in common interview tips!
So, without further ado, here are the 5 most common interview tips you should never take!
1. Don’t over-prepare … you want to sound natural!
While you shouldn’t physically write out a manual script for yourself to read, you cannot otherwise over-prepare for an interview. Stick with the three Rs: Research, revise, remember! From your companies’ social media accounts to their blogs, to aspects of the role you’re unfamiliar with and upcoming trends in the industry, it’s impossible to overdo it. Let your inner geek run wild!
2. Don’t show-of too much. You’ll either be qualified or not.
A little healthy realism about your capabilities is great, but whatever you do, don’t be a victim of false humility – now is not the time to self-deprecate! You’ve applied for this job for a reason and the chances are you could do a great job of it. Interviewers are people, not robots, and you’re there to make an impression. Make sure it’s a strong one! If there are some areas you’re not as strong on, be transparent about that but be sure to emphasize why you’re good points outweigh your weaknesses.
3. Never veer off topic. Only answer the questions you’re asked.
Your interviewer is only human. There is a chance there may be some questions they haven’t asked that they really should have! Of course, you should avoid going off on rambling monologues. But here’s a pro interview tip: if you’ve got some stellar points as to why you’d ace this position, find a way to work them in! Even if they don’t directly answer your interviewers’ question, find a way to work them in as a secondary or side point to a different question. You’re there to sell yourself.
4. Don’t bother bringing your CV – they’ll have it in front of them.
But do you really want to have to ask your interviewer if you can “just have a look” at your CV to remind you of some crucial point they’ve just quizzed you on? Swot up on yourself. Management teams are busy people and may not have had time to look over your CV one last time before interviewing you. With this in mind, you want to appear confident and prepared, with your own copy of your CV in your hands and your best achievement in mind!
5. Keep your answers short and sweet
In most aspects of communication, concision is key. But interviews are an exception. Let rip! You want this job more than anything, remember? Let yourself get passionate about why you want this job and how you plan to take their company by storm! This isn’t a simple “yes/no” box-ticking exercise. One-sentence answers might be an effective way to convey information but there is a high chance they will leave your interviewer cold. If anything, if your interview ends up veering off-track into a genuine conversation, that’s a good sign! Naturally, that doesn’t mean you should waffle. Make sure you have lots of valid points about your suitability and passion for the company to deliver.
The bottom line is to go with your gut. If you want this position and you love this industry, you’ll be naturally compelled to read up on the company and the role beforehand. Moreover, you’ll be bursting with eagerness to get across just how amazing a job you’d do of it! Don’t let any ill-advised interview tips get in the way of your shine. Go for gold!
For more tips on how to ace the interview process, check out our careers advice section for all the insider scoop...