Disasters to avoid

Disasters to avoid

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Interviews can be stressful, but they can be made even more so when disaster strikes. To make the process as smooth as possible and give yourself the best chance of succeeding, avoid these five common mistakes.

1. Being Late

Allow plenty of time for your journey. Plan to be ten - fifteen minutes early and figure out the right train or bus to get you there ahead of time.

Make sure you have used the correct address to plan your journey. In a big city, there are sometimes duplicate addresses varying only by postcode. If you encounter any confusion, call the employer to make sure you have the right one.

If the world conspires with traffic accidents or cancelled trains to make you late beyond your control, call the employer and notify them as soon as you are able. Stuff happens, we all know that, and getting in touch will at least show a degree of accountability.

2. Not Doing your Research

Interviews have two purposes: to find out about you, and to find out if you are suited to the role. Taking the time to research the company or employer will show that you are proactive and curious, and will help you decide if the role is right for you.

3. Being Unprepared

Turning up unprepared is a waste of both your time and the employer's time. We're not just talking about honing your interview techniques (though you should certainly do that). You should also make sure you have a copy of your cv and covering letter with you, in case you'd like to refer back to any of your experience, as well as your portfolio or hard copy samples of your work if applicable.

4. Being Unprofessional

Even if the interview is informal, you should always remain professional. This doesn't mean that you can't laugh and joke with your interviewer, but remember the purpose of the meeting and try to stay on track to show them why you're the right person for the role - you should also avoid any inappropriate language or any anecdotes that could paint you in a bad light.

5. Demonstrating Lack of Enthusiasm or Commitment

This usually means one of two things - either the interviewee is simply not that interested in the role, or they become so nervous that they freeze up and come across as bored or disinterested. If your nerves start getting the best of you, take a moment to take a deep breath or two. It will help. And remember that it is okay to take your time coming up with answers to the interviewer's questions.

It is also important to recognise that even if you consider the position a stepping stone, mentioning that in an interview may show lack of commitment to your potential employer. It is good to talk about the skills you hope to gain from the position, but if it is a long-term position then you should also be able to demonstrate a commitment to the role.

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