Ten Common Interview Faults

1. Lack of Research

Interviewees are unprepared for the interview and fail to do the basic research necessary to win a job. You don't need to know everything about a company or job but you must know the basics such as its size, is it part of a larger group, what its key products are and who are the major competitors.

2. Lack of Confidence

Because of lack of research interviewees lack confidence and the first impression and subsequent presentation fails. Candidates often lack warmth and personality and are one-dimensional during interviews. As a result they concentrate on getting their points across and don't listen. Interviewers want to know if you will fit in and can work with them and if it would be pleasant to have around the office each day.

3. Failing to display Interest and Enthusiasm in the job.

Following on from above candidates fail to project enthusiasm for the job or describe how they would enjoy working there. Employers perceive that happy motivated people produce the best work and enthuse customers about the business.

4. Providing too much detail on why they left or lost their last job.

Be honest about what happened and why you left, otherwise the interviewer isn't convinced and will harbour doubts about employing you. By all means say it in the best light but keep it as short and a simple as possible. If you were redundant then broaden your answer such as "The Company lost a major contract and along with 20 other people the unit was closed". If you were redundant don't be drawn into revealing you are not over it or hate the Company. Use it as an opportunity to take your career forward.

5. Getting the balance right.

You have to remember that the interviewer's requirement is to satisfy what they want not yours. Balance up what you want from a job with what the Company wants from you. Beware of trap questions like "what are you looking for in a job" By all means answer the question but keep it focused and try to put it into a joint framework. For example " I am ambitious and attracted to ABC Ltd. by the examples in your brochure detailing your internal training and development programme"

6. Listen to the question.

Lack of research on the job requirements leads to candidates answering the part of the question they most easily understand and in the context that they have worked. The question may be more complex and ask for greater insights. If the Interviewer subsequently says, I wanted more about.... then check you understood the question.

7. Not knowing or discussing their limitations.

It is unlikely that you meet 100% of the job experience requirements so when something arises that you can't justify - don't drop your head and have negative body language but tackle it. If the interviewer sees honesty and understanding you are more likely to stay in the process than if he sees waffle. Acknowledge that you need this experience and tell them that you are reading XYZ book on the subject and / or planning to attend a course etc.

8. Prepare for the difficult questions

Even a brief look at the job advertisement or job description will highlight many of the question areas. Prepare a general answer so you can impress with your presentation. The normal rule is not to speak for more than 100 seconds concentrating on how you did it more than what you did.

9. Product differentiation

In any sales process the buyer (interviewer) has to see the advantages of hiring you. So sell what it is about you that makes you the best candidate. Reinforce this at the end of the interview when the question "what would you like to ask us" appears. Use it to tell them again why you are the best candidate.

10. Did you ask for the job?

This is the biggest mistake candidates make, they do not close the sale and make that final closing impression. You have to be memorable, so ask for the job. This doesn't have to be direct- give me the job - but just "Thank you for seeing me this morning, all you have told me reinforces my wish to work here, I would like the job and can you tell me what happens next?"