Free Interview Tips #2 – How To Avoid The Most Common Interview Mistake

Today I’m going to reveal to you the reason why most people fail in an interview. Take this priceless lesson to heart and you’ll be on your way to winning your ideal job.

The Key To A Successful Interview Is To Prepare Thoroughly

Not a surprise I’m sure and yet remarkably few people take the time to do so. In fact, research shows that 9 out of 10 interview candidates fail to prepare properly and as a result miss out on the job offer.

My experience has shown that there are 2 types of interview candidates who tend to fail time and again at interview.

1. Those who do not prepare at all

2. Those who prepare but do so ineffectively

The first group arrive at the interview thinking they can just wing it. They have a good CV or Resume, they have been to interviews before and they view the interview only as a necessary formality. Very rarely does this attitude succeed, and as an interviewer I can tell very quickly, probably with the first three questions I ask, whether they have prepared or not. I find it very difficult to favour such candidates as I wonder if they are going to bring the same carefree attitude into the workplace.

The second group will have prepared to some extent and immediately win positive points with me. I can at least see that they are serious in their application, they are keen on the job and they want to work with my organisation. However, as the interview progresses and I am given answers which are incorrect or lacking in focus or structure, I am led to consider if this weakness will also apply to their ability to do the job properly.

A successful candidate is one who has prepared thoroughly, they know the job, they know the employer and they can sell themselves by directly matching their skills with the requirements of the role. They engage me in a conversation, they stimulate my interest and ultimately they convince me that they can do the job better than anyone else.

Complete These 3 Key Actions For A Successful Interview

Proper preparation is the key to success and here are three key areas I recommend you focus on during the lead up to your interview:

Action #1: Get To Know Yourself
This is all about being familiar with your skills and what you can bring to the role. To help clarify what those are, spend time completing these exercises:

a. Note down what you consider to be your Key Strengths, your Unique Selling Points and your Positive Personal Qualities.

b. Review your Resume, becoming very familiar with all aspects of it.

c. Select what you consider to be your Top Three Achievements and develop an answer relating to each, which demonstrates what you did, the steps or actions you took and very importantly the benefits you delivered.

d. Finally, create a Personal Statement for yourself, starting with your name, your profession or job, your recent experience and achievements, your key strengths and how you can use your skills within the job you are being interviewed for.

Action #2: Get To Know The Job
This may sound obvious, but it is surprising how many candidates do not have a clear idea of just what they will be doing in the job. It is vital that you know what is involved in the job, which skills are prized and what key competencies your employer is searching for.

Study the Job Description in detail alongside the Person Specification, noting where your skills match and even more importantly,where there are competency gaps.

Action #2: Get To Know Your Employer
Early on in the interview, I will very often ask a candidate what they know about the organisation or what they think about our products or services. If they cannot answer these questions well, I would have to wonder why they want to work here in the first place.

While I would ideally recommend more time, just 15 minutes is all it takes to gather enough information to format a respectable answer to these questions and convince me that you are genuinely interested.

Thanks you for reading and tomorrow I reveal how the smallest of things can make all the difference in an interview.

Annette Lewis
Interview Coach

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