Common interview missteps and how to overcome them

by TDSPersonnel Admin | Apr 27, 2017

Job interviewing is an intimidating process, and sometimes the intimidation can get the better of even the most qualified candidates. From the in-person interviews we conduct with our candidates, and the feedback we hear from our clients, we have seen a few key areas that can significantly improve the interview outcome. Here are our insights and tips.

Being prepared versus rehearsed

Preparation and research is crucial to the interview – you must know about the company, your interviewer and the job you are interviewing for. You must also know how your experiences and qualifications fit with that. However, because of the focus on interview preparation, we have seen candidates become too rehearsed which can make answers feel over-scripted. You should have a list of key points you want to get through to the interviewer, and be prepared enough to drop them into your answers naturally. 

Being professional versus showing personality

This point goes hand-in-hand with preparation. It is well-known that organizations hire for fit as much as they do for job qualification. Because of this, interviewing styles are increasingly veering away from the formal, structured interview to more casual conversations. This is an effective technique and one we often use at TDS, but as an interviewee you should be cautious to not overstep the mark by sharing too much personal information. Don’t accept your interviewer’s casualness as permission to be equally casual and always ensure your answers and conversation are relevant to why you’re speaking with them in the first place: to interview for a job at their organization.

Showing you’re ambitious versus unrealistic

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” is a common interview question, and for good reason. It gives great insight into a candidate’s ambition, career plan and, ultimately, whether they are the right fit for the job. However, we have seen candidates so eager to show their ambition and drive that they answer this with a role completely unrelated to the one they are interviewing for. Always remember to show your enthusiasm for the job at hand, and communicate your willingness to master this role before you move on. 

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