Research shows that only about 10% of total job applicants actually make it to the next round of their job application- i.e, personal interview. Applicants tend to not prepare well for their Group Discussions (If you think you’re one of those people, check out how to ace your GD- GD Coming Up? 5 Things You Should Not Do). Or in cases where there are no GDs involved, they tend to not put in the adequate amount of effort in their CVs either. But if you’re one of the lucky few who made it to the ‘call for interview’ pile, it means that your first impression was positive. However, there is still a chance for things to go wrong and you to make mistakes during the interview.
Here are some common mistakes Indians make during interviews and also how to avoid them:
Going in unprepared
Interviews are meant to be taken seriously and only worrying about it doesn’t count as taking it seriously. This interview mistake can cost you your selection. You forget to research the company or institute you are interviewing for. What you should know is that there are probably 10 other candidates like you waiting to go in and kill the interview. So dig deeper, find whatever you can and expand your general knowledge as well. That leaves a good impression. Also, be prepared with the type of questions you want to ask them. They need to be thought out and not just what’s at the top of your head at that moment. For example:
- What is the work culture like?
- What are the biggest rewards of the job and working for this company?
- How does one advance in the company?
This will, in a way prove that you have done your research about the company.
Lack of manners
Imagine if you are taking an interview and the candidate comes barging through the door, barely acknowledges you and then proceeds to sit down. Not very pleasant is it? But yes, that is what most people do. It can be because of nervousness that makes you forget about these little but very significant things. So in order to avoid this interview mistakes:
- Be punctual, which is very important.
- Ask for permission before entering.
- Greet them with a firm handshake
- Wait for them to ask you to sit. This shows your cordiality.
- Also make sure you sit with a good body language, meaning do not slouch or sit with your legs apart. Boys should not cross their legs, girls can but in an elegant way.
- Do not forget to dress sharp, preferably in formal clothing.
- Do not walk in wearing slippers and in shabby hair, it gives an impression that you don’t care.
- Do not interrupt the interviewer, wait for them to complete what they have to say and then answer/ ask questions.
Too Much Information (TMI). This is another common mistake made more often than people realize. This refers to dropping too much information about your personal life. When asked questions like, “Tell us about yourself”, some people go into unnecessary details that really have nothing to do with the job or remotely related to the company. Keep your personal problems or anecdotes out of the interview room. Remember that this is a professional meeting the interviewer is not your soul mate.
Some people tend to answer questions with a speech, narrating life experiences or even the struggles to reach to the interview. This must be avoided at every cost. Listen to the question carefully and answer accordingly and precisely. Indulge in small talk only if the interviewers seem interested. Do not broach the subject of salary or other compensation unless they are sure about hiring you. Even then, wait for them to bring it up in conversation. Your impatience won’t take you anywhere.
Ok, this mistake might not seem like one but believe me, it is. People have a knack for over-praising the interviewers (more like kissing ass), to get into their good books and further their chances of selection. But this is the most common move and probably even anticipated by an experienced interviewer. Don’t compliment the interviewer on their achievement upfront rather weave it into the conversation.
The second mistake is flattering yourself too much. Don’t be a Narcissist. It makes you come across as someone who is overselling themselves.
Wrecking the follow-up
This is a mistake most people don’t even know they’re making. An interview is not over the second you walk out the door. You need to follow up by sending them an e-mail telling how much you appreciated the opportunity. You can also add how you would like to hear back from them soon. This shows your interest in the company or the institute. In a way, it also sets you apart from the other candidates who might or might not follow up. Don’t look too eager also and say things like, “Please let me know when I am joining”. First, wait for them to tell you whether or not you’re hired.
So next time you have an interview just take a deep breath, feel confident and let them know how great you are! Keep the above mentioned things in mind and you shall be good to go.
Check out how you can ace your GD in 5 simple ways: GD Coming Up? 5 Things You Should Not Do