Interviews dos and dontsSo you’ve landed yourself an interview after impressing with your great CV and experience. Now comes the difficult bit – the interview. Here are our five main interview mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.

Coming unprepared
This sends out a clear message to employers that you’re not motivated or serious.

Research the company beforehand, bring a few hard copies of your CV, and bring a notepad and pen to jot things down like questions you’re going to ask during the interview.

It’s an excellent idea to prepare some of your responses to possible questions ahead of time. This can calm nerves, but also show employers you’re organised enough to make the most of your interview opportunity. And make sure you know why you want to work there – give specific and concrete reasons.

Saying you don’t have any questions
Asking relevant and thoughtful questions shows employers that you’ve taken the time to prepare for your interview, that you have a specific interest in the company, and that you’re thinking on a deeper level about the job.

Being late

This also ties in to being prepared.

You’ll never get a second chance to make a good first impression, and arriving late implies that you don’t manage your time well. It’s wise to do a ‘recce’ or test run of your journey to the site of the interview before the actual day to avoid being late.

Not looking the part
The company may be a casual, laid-back t-shirts and jeans sort of place, but you need to dress ‘one notch above’ to show that you mean business. At a minimum, make sure your clothes are fresh, clean and pressed.

Be mindful of the company’s dress code and culture, though; if you show up for such a company in overly formal wear, then it might imply that you’re a square peg interviewing for a round hole.

Bending or stretching the truth

It’s tempting to make your CV sound better than it actually is, but it reveals a lack of honesty, and can destroy your credibility and future within the company.

Bluffing about skills you don’t have, lying about other jobs or places you’ve worked for, can harm your chances on the job market six months to a year later.

Always be upfront about your skills and experience, and don’t invent excuses for less favourable parts of your CV. Honesty is better from the start.