Tips to tackle common interview mistakes

Interviews are often your first opportunity to meet a potential employer face-to-face. It’s important to make a good impression. If you have been invited to interview it means that your CV has been selected from amongst a sea of candidates, so this is your chance to stand out.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you overcome some common interview mistakes:

1. Do your research

Invest time in researching the company and role you have applied for, this will help you feel confident during an interview. You can memorise a few key background facts, find out who will be interviewing you and familiarise yourself with the company. It’s helpful to know specific facts such as:

  • Company history, financial position, mission and products/services
  • The market in which it operates
  • Major competitors

2. Don’t criticise previous employers/colleagues

Avoid displaying negativity to a potential employer. Rather than pointing out negative aspects of your previous employment; give examples of how you overcame challenging situations. This shows that you are proactive and highlights your ability to deal with a difficult issue in a positive way.

3. Communicate

You can be faulted for asking too many questions or too few. Needless to say, you have to strike the right balance to impress the hiring manager. Show your interest and enthusiasm for the current role by asking relevant questions. Avoid drifting off topic or discussing issues that have no significance to the current job role. The interview is your opportunity to show the hiring manager that you are right for the role, so describe your skills and how they are aligned to the current position.

At the end of the interview, the recruiter will give you the opportunity to ask a few questions. Some good options include asking about training opportunities, potential for growth in the company or what the workplace culture is like.

4. Know your CV well

You don’t need to memorise every word of your CV, but you should be comfortable talking about your previous work experience and why you moved on.

Review your CV before an interview and rehearse how you will answer questions about the details you have mentioned. Make sure to communicate how your past accomplishments relate to the role you are applying for.

5. Be prepared

While interviews can sometimes be an unnerving time, there are several ways to ensure that you feel confident when you walk into an interview. A key aspect of feeling self-assured is being prepared.

  • Practice answers to potential questions
  • Research the employer
  • Know your CV well
  • Rehearse answers to tough questions such as: Why should we hire you? What will you bring to the company?

The Officer’s Association is committed to helping you during your transition. If you need any more tips about how to write a successful application or ace an interview, get in touch with us here.