Interviews are not perhaps the best of times to judge a person- the pressure, the stress, the desire, the nervousness all can have an adverse effect on a candidate. But then again, it is these very reasons based on which the decision as to whether you get the job or not is made; simply put, interviews are important, and how so!
Now, we all know that nobody is perfect- everybody makes mistakes. Interviewers know this too and accept this. There is a certain leeway for mistakes in an interview, regarding a wrong answer or grammatical error in your language. But what most recruiters do not tolerate and will definitely hold up against you are some of the silliest mistakes that can easily be avoided.
Normally, what people don’t realize is that they could easily be doing any of the silly mistakes; constant fidgeting, not maintain eye contact are some such mistakes, basically the body language. Apart from body language, there are also other basic mistakes that could easily be avoided but, in most cases, are not. The result: Candidates are confused and angry when they are not selected as they probably feel they were great in the interview; they will continue to make the same mistakes and they will continue to fail. Here, we are not going to discuss about what answers you must give to the questions or anything academic; but what we will do is list some of the most fundamental and the most important things that must be taken care of, if you are to receive the offer letter. You will be surprised to see how ridiculously easy it is to not make such blunders.
1. Not Doing Your Homework
This is probably the gravest and the most potent of mistakes that one could possibly commit. Not preparing for the interview thoroughly is one sure shot way to find yourself staring at the exit stairs; and we don’t mean just preparing answers to the questions that might be asked- that is given. What you also have to do is research about the post you are applying for and the company you are applying to; these definitely make a great deal of difference. At some point of the interview, you can expect these questions and more than anything, it will reflect very poorly on you if you do not have the answers to them. Even if it is not asked, this knowledge will help you when it comes to the time to ask your own questions and clarifications to the interviewer.
2. Running Against the Clock
Being on time for an interview is extremely crucial. Even though, you might think that you have enough time to reach the interview center, remember that the Murphy’s Law is a quite dangerous weapon that can strike when you least expect it; as such it is always better to provide a little cushion time so that you are guaranteed to be on time for the interview. Being on time never hurts, but not being on time always does.
3. Improper Attire
Many recruiters claim that in the first 90 seconds of an interview, they get to know if they will hire someone or not. This is where your attire plays a major role. The consensus among almost all the recruiters is that dress code is highly important; so important that if there are two similar candidates, then the one dressed better and smatter gets chosen above the other– a bold underlining of its importance.
4. Effective Communication
More often than not in an interview, candidates either talk too much or talk too less; this might be due to stress or maybe simply the way they are. Being out going is a good thing, but you must find the fine line between appropriate talk and plain unnecessary talk. Do not go into detail about your family problems, a blow by blow account of the reasons why you had to leave your last job; only answer to the point. Also, many find it hard to talk at all in the interview; many stammer or speak too softly. Such people have to practice to speak up and confidently. A concise and clear communication is essential if you are to ace the interview.
5. Body Language
This is a highly crucial aspect on which you are judged. Body language reveals a whole lot more than what you actually say. A lot of things come under this section- lack of a smile, failure to make constant eye contact, bad posture, constant fidgeting, using too many hand gestures while answering and explaining and a weak handshake are some of the many things that fall under this section. Effectively managing your body language is important if you are serious about landing the job you want.
6. Behavior Towards Others
There is a general feeling that you are only selected for an interview based on what actually goes on in the interview room. This, in itself, is a fallacy. Many top level companies keep a tab on you the moment you enter the building. The way you talk to the doorman, watchman and the receptionists all factor into the final call on your selection. If you perform admirably in the interview but throw a tantrum at the receptionist or the secretary, you will find that it invariably ends up in your file. So, try and be polite to all even if they are at fault because no one wants someone who can be a pain in the neck.
7. Parting Words
At the end of the interview, you will be given time to ask any questions of your own. Make use of this time and ask relevant questions about the job and the company; make sure the questions you ask aren’t easily available on the net, as that will be a clear indication that you have not prepared adequately for the interview. Also, when all is said and done, thank the interviewer for seeing you and sparing time for you.