Why you might fail a job interview

Why you might fail a job interview

In the stress of meeting with a hiring manager it is easy for slip-ups to occur.

Below are some common errors that can see candidates fail a job interview – and what you can do to avoid them, and instead create a positive impression.

Unprofessional behaviour? A definite mistake to fail a job interview

No matter how relaxed a hiring manager may appear to be, maintain a professional approach yourself. Coming across as casual can easily see you fail a job interview.

Start by dressing appropriately – if you aren’t sure of the dress code, play it safe with formal business attire such as a suit and tie. Always arrive for the interview on time (it helps to plan the route in advance), and be courteous to any staff you encounter at the company.

Failure to research the company

If you don’t want to fail a job interview, invest time researching the company. This is an essential step.

A hiring manager will want to see that you are genuinely interested in the organisation, and may ask questions designed to gauge your understanding of the company and what it does. You need to be able to provide answers that demonstrate you know something about the organisation.

A company’s website is usually a good source of information. News websites are useful too as they can offer insights on topical matters that relate to the company and the industry it is part of.

Poor preparation

Part of preparing for a job interview involves thinking about the questions you will be asked and how you will respond. That doesn’t mean you should memorise answers, however hiring managers will want to see real examples of how you can add value to a company. Not preparing for some of the common interview questions asked can set you up for an interview filled with awkward silence.

Prepare by looking back at some of the projects/tasks you have taken that have added value for previous employers. It may be an example of how you solved a customer’s problem, or steps you took to save the company money. Consider how you will explain these situations clearly and concisely to the hiring manager during the interview.

Criticising your previous employer

A sure way to fail a job interview is by criticising a former boss or co-workers. Not only is this extremely unprofessional, bad-mouthing a previous employer can see you labelled as a complainer or someone who could be difficult to work with.

If you have a gripe against a former employer, keep it to yourself during the job interview, and offer tactful responses if you are asked about your reasons for leaving.

Lack of enthusiasm

Hiring managers may overlook a lack of technical skills if you demonstrate a positive attitude that shows you are enthusiastic for the company and the role.

It is hard to fail a job interview when you have plenty of positive energy and the enthusiasm to tackle new challenges.

Remember, a hiring manager is often looking for someone who can work as part of a team, and enthusiasm plus a positive outlook can be a big motivator among colleagues. So let your enthusiasm shine through.

There’s a lot riding on your meeting with a hiring manager, but if you can avoid some of the key mistakes, it is far less likely that you will fail a job interview.

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