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Anyone going through a job search would agree that having an invitation call for a job interview is indeed not an easily-achieved milestone. It is indeed a big victory to become a suitable job candidate from a mere job applicant. But unfortunately, many candidates waste this opportunity by making several mistakes in their job interview which is why they get repeatedly rejected despite of having the required qualification, skills and potentials.
Amna Nawaz works as clinical psychologist at Willing Ways, Lahore. She has done MS in clinical psychology and B.Sc (Hons.) from GC University, Lahore. Heath counseling, addiction counseling, subjective well-being and intellectual disability are her areas of interest as well as her educational expertise. She has acquired her clinical training from one of the prestigious institutes in Lahore including Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Punjab Institute of Mental Health and Mayo Hospital.
Editor: Haroon Christy
The most common mistake includes punctuality. The first impression is very crucial in getting a job and arriving late for a job interview leaves a negative impression of a candidate even before he arrives. It not only indicates your poor time management skills but sometimes also suggests your non-seriousness towards the job itself. So being punctual for an interview is highly essential. One should make sure to arrive at least ten minutes earlier so that one can have some extra time in case of unforeseen circumstances such as being stuck in traffic or security barriers etc. To avoid wasting time in finding the interview location, one can go and visit the venue before the interview day.
Inappropriate dressing for a job interview is another common mistake. It is important to follow appropriate dress code i.e. according to the position you have applied for. Being overdressed or appearing with too casual dressing both don’t leave a good impression. Being decently presentable and well-dressed is the key.
Exhibiting low energies is also one of the major interview killers. Drooping shoulders, poor eye contact, lethargic gestures, general demeanor of lack of enthusiasm and not being quick in responding to questions, all display low energy levels, suggest your disinterest in the job and also show your disengagement in an interview. Try to engage yourself during an interview by maintaining appropriate eye contact, tilting a bit forward while conversing with an interviewer, and also practice active listening.It is important to have an ample amount sleep a night before an interview, a wholesome breakfast and a cold water bath before showing up for an interview. They will boost your energy levels and make you feel fresh as well.
Avoid appearing to be over-confident or too passive during an interview. Make sure to show your real self instead of pretending to be someone you are not. A confident demeanor can be achieved by maintaining appropriate physical postures such as eye contact, straight shoulders, no hand fidgeting, pen-clicking or leg shaking, professional yet pleasant look on the face, less body movements and appropriate voice tone with reasonable fluency and pauses. One should also avoid jargons or sharing abstract ideas or quick summaries while discussing about the technical points of your skills and job experiences.
Bringing so many things with you during an interview is another spoiler such as a bunch of files, carrying a large bag or briefcase, carrying a water bottle, drink or coffee cup with yourself, carrying a mobile phone in your hand etc. All these things can create distractions for you and can be a source of fumble. So make sure your hands are less occupied, prefer to bring in a slim file with you containing all the basic documents required. Also avoid answering any phone calls or replying to text messages during an interview. Rather keeping your mobile phone on silent mode or switching it off and putting it in your bag or pocket would be more appropriate.
Appearing blank about the company you have applied for can also stump you during a job interview. Make sure to do the basic research about the company before your interview such as about the history of the company, its mission statement, its branches or divisions, its expertise, its ranking and status in the market etc. All such information can be gathered by reviewing company’s website or social networking pages or accounts. It is also crucial to know as the interviewers usually trick the candidates by questioning them about their current knowledge about the company to check their interest in their company.