12. Aug, 2021

PART 1: Common Job Interview Mistakes


This paper is double-edged. It is intended to alert the recruit and the recruiter to common mistakes at interview.

PART 1 explores preparation and professionalism. PART 2 personal integrity and teamwork.


PART 1: Preparation & Professionalism

1)    Know What You Know – Most organisations have an Internet presence and can be easily researched. Check out the trading position of the organisation interviewing you. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to work with them for the next 10-years?”. Research latest annual accounts; who their primary competitors are; who the CEO/Chairperson is together with where they came from and when? If there is missing info’ or something you don’t understand, add it to Being Yourself (see question 4) below)

2)    Arriving Late – Unpunctuality contradicts any habit of completing tasks on time. Lateness, without a genuine reason, tells the interviewer that you can be unreliable. However, an explanation of the cause of a genuine delay, is your chance to redeem yourself stating reasons in a clear and concise manner. In short, the person who is punctual respects everyone’s time.

3)    Arriving Too Early – Can anxiety be good? When tummy butterflies fly in formation it can be a good signal that your psycho (mind) and soma (body) are in harmony. Sometimes, however, those same butterflies can overcompensate. It is always a good idea to allow for predictable traffic delay when journeying to a new venue. This demonstrates forethought and planning skills. If you arrive more than 10-minutes prior to your scheduled interview, DO NOT GO IN! Instead, go to a nearby café, window-shop, or take a stroll in a park. Relax!

4)    Being Yourself – always assume a trained interviewer is aware of someone ‘faking-good’, meaning deliberately behaving as something you are not. Many unprepared candidates (see 1) above) squander interview time by focusing on the insignificant, hoping they can avoid direct questioning. During your pre-interview prep-time (no later than 24hrs before your scheduled meeting), write down the kind of questions you can expect to hear: “What is your greatest success?” “What is your biggest career failure?” “How did you deal with it?“ “What would you do differently?” “If successful, where do you see yourself going with this company?” Prep’ some direct questions for your interviewer too, such as: “How did you come to join this organisation?” “Where do you see the company going in the next 3-5 years?” “How do you see me fitting in?”

5)    Listen, Listen and Listen More – The 5th Habit of Highly Effective People by the late Stephen R. Covey, is ‘Seek 1st To Understand, Then To Be Understood’. The art of all good communication is the ability to comprehend what another person is talking about! Though you are being interviewed to provide material information for a specific job-role, it does not mean you turn your ears off. A job interview is your opportunity to discover what will be expected of the successful candidate. Be prepared to politely pursue any conflicting or misunderstood information.

Next week we shall explore PART 2 personal integrity and teamwork

To explore this paper or arrange your workshop, email info@uetp.co.uk

Complicated IS Easy! Simple IS Hard!