Slip-ups at the interview – what to avoid

Life brings us constant changes, and one of them is changing jobs. However, this important step is usually preceded by a challenging period of interviews and selection procedures. Let’s assume that we all want to simplify this process, so here are some recommendations on what to avoid and how to not to fail.

OK. Your CV has been successful and you have received an invitation for a personal interview. Let’s summarise a few points you should to look out for. Sufficient experience and good “hard skills” are not everything, personality traits and especially motivation can often be a more important factor in deciding between two candidates.

📌 Late arrival
At work or in everyday life, first impression always plays an important role. Obstacles can occur on the road, so it is important to allow plenty of time and arrive early for the interview.

📌 Inappropriate “dress code”
Although modern trends in dressing are very creative, you never know in advance what kind of corporate environment you are going to and how they have set the dress code. The ideal is to choose the happy medium – you can’t go wrong with so-called business casual. Simply put, avoid extremes, whether in elegance or in casualness.

📌 Unpreparedness
The job search period is challenging. One goes from interview to interview and sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. However, the employer needs to feel that their company is the one you are interested in and where you see your next career move. Not knowing the company’s focus, background information, or the job title you are applying for is a sign of disinterest, which definitely works against the candidate.

📌 Slandering a previous employer
Working relationships don’t always have to be ideal, and neither do the reasons for leaving. Negative work experiences can leave us with bitter memories and grievances. Whatever the case may be, it is absolutely inappropriate to detail it in an interview in front of a potential future employer. It leaves the impression of a conflicted personality that few would see as a good “fit” for the team.

📌 Salary questions right from the start
In Slovakia, we have a minimum wage. The question of salary is of course out of place, as we all have a certain standard of living and need to know if a given position fits our expectations. However, if we raise this question right at the beginning, or even during the initial telephone conversation, we leave a rather superficial impression.

📌 Making up experience and not knowing your own CV
Many of us have a tendency to embellish our CV a little to make it look as attractive as possible. We extend the length of time we have been in a job, add responsibilities we (have not) had, increase the level of different skills. However, the more we change it, the more we get lost in it and give ourselves away at the interview. We come across as untrustworthy and misleading.

📌 Questions
One of the signs of sincere interest in a job is asking relevant questions. Even if you feel that everything has been answered, ask confirmatory questions. E.g. “Did I understand correctly… ?”

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18. August 2022 | Natália Sládeková

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