What mistakes you should avoid in an interview

Are you having problems getting to that interview or maybe you don’t hear anything back after the interview? Can’t figure out why? This article might be for you! Here are nine 9 mistakes made during job searching and interviews and what to do about it.

1. Being too general

So you want a job in Chemistry? That’s great! But bear in mind that a degree/background in chemistry can open up doors in the pharmaceutical sector, chemical manufacturing, food and waste sectors, and many more. From research roles to analytical chemistry, the market is huge. Be more specific in your goals, if you want to work in an inorganics laboratory then this is where your searching begins.

2. Being too rigid

On the other hand, being too rigid in your search will drastically decrease your chances of finding employment in your desired role. Certain factors do require an element of flexibility on your part, for example, if you really really want to work in a Lab for a cosmetic company, yet there isn’t one in your desired location, then maybe have a think about an alternative, or perhaps considering a possible relocation?

3. An un-tailored CV

You don’t have to write your CV so that everybody can understand it. If you’re aiming to progress in a specific sector, then include the technical jargon and industry lingo. If you’re a chemist, write your CV for chemists!

4. Not knowing your CV

Too many people get to an interview and genuinely have not read their own CV for too long a period. Make sure you familiarise yourself with your own CV, they will be asking you questions about it, because, at this stage, it’s all they have to go on. If you have multiple versions of your CV, double-check which one you used when applying for the position!

5. Telling lies

Self-explanatory, do not lie to your CV, to your recruitment consultant, or in any interviews, you go on. It will all become clear sooner rather than later, and once integrity is damaged, it can be very difficult to regain and can be hugely damaging for your career.

6. Too serious too early

It is not a good idea to start talking about concerns you may have about the role when you are only 5 minutes into the interview, it will instantly raise doubts in the employer’s mind, and so early on it could also compromise their first impressions of you, which we know are crucial. Especially early on, keep the conversation light, let them dictate the topics, and eventually you will have the chance to ask questions, they may even have already been answered!

7. Underselling/Overselling

There is a fine line between being confident in your abilities and overselling yourself. Too often people get caught up in the interview process and end up making claims about their abilities when they are borderline lies if they sound too good to be true, then the chances are the employer either won’t buy it or will test you on it. On the flip side, if you know you have certain qualities that you are particularly proud of, don’t let your modesty prevent you from showing them!

8. Talking negatively about past employers

Never bad-mouth your last job, even if you worked for a competitor and you think it might go down well, it is never a good idea. You want to come across as a person who gets on with everyone and everything, and someone who is too professional to be resentful. After all, they did give you employment and are partly the reason you have been invited for an interview in the first place, it will always come across a bit sour.

9. Not researching the company

If you are asked for an interview at a company, one question you are guaranteed to be asked is “What do you know about us?” Make sure you know at least a few facts and have prepared a couple of interesting questions yourself, it proves to the employer that you are serious when you say that you “really want to work here.”

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