In terms of behaviour, there are a range of actions people can take, and traits they might display, during a recruitment interview that are likely to dampen the enthusiasm for them in the mind of their interviewer. Here are half a dozen of the most common to watch out for and avoid:
In the old days, there might have been reasons for not knowing as much as you should about a potential employer. This isn’t the case anymore though. You can use the internet to find out enough to be fully prepared. You can show your knowledge and preparation by including one or two pieces of information or reference points that can add to your case for being hired.
It’s well-known that any actor, during a casting audition, will agree that they can perform any task, possess any skill, just to gain the role. In real life, it’s a waste of time pretending to have specific skills, and then be found out later. Be honest about your abilities, and show that you are eager to learn any skills you don’t yet possess, as well as highlighting those you do.
This person fails to answer the question asked, or answers the question they wish had been asked. An apparent lack of honesty will always switch-off an interviewer. However, it’s also possible that the evasion is accidental, through a misunderstanding of what’s being asked. Where necessary, and politely, seek confirmation of what your interviewer wants to know.
This person does answer all questions asked, but does so with as little effort as possible. Sometimes through insecurity, this individual fails to promote themselves in any way, or to add extra detail to a standard or simple answer. Rather than a fully-formed picture, the interviewer ends with the canvas still half-blank.
Someone who takes even the simplest of questions as an opportunity to talk. And talk. Often veering off the topic of the question, such a candidate will make the interviewer glad they are only using an hour of their time – rather than what would quickly seem a lifetime if hired!
This person tries to grab control of the interview and direct it in the way they wish it to go. Confidence is one thing, too much of it, veering into arrogance, will rarely gain a positive response.
Your aim, when being interviewed, is to present a fair yet optimistic picture of yourself, married to the needs of the company or organisation and the specific role being filled. Avoiding the six traps shown here will help you to achieve this aim.