You don’t allow room for improvement
No matter your level of experience, or what role you’re interviewing for, you should never be seen as over-confident and in-turn not willing to learn.
Employers are looking for someone who is willing to adapt and grow in line with their company, and a candidate who can’t move on from their current achievements and past work experience is unlikely to give that impression.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be proud of your career or your achievements – as long as you’re also clear about where you’re heading. Link your relevant knowledge back to the role, and explain how your experiences could help their business and you’ll be on the right track but remember, no-one likes a know-it-all.
You say yes to everything
It’s an understandable mistake for candidates to make with the assumption that the more willing you are, the more employable you’ll be. The issue is you need to make clear what motivates you and be true to yourself as to whether or not the job is the right fit for you. There is no point going for a job that within a month you’ve lost all motivation for as you never took the time to think whether or not this was a career move that did tick the right boxes for you.
It could even demonstrate that you haven’t read the job description correctly, make you seem uninterested in the employer and the position or, worse, just come across a little desperate. Be honest about your actual skills and expertise, and relate them back to the role. If you are inexperienced in certain tasks, focus on showing a genuine interest in learning more about them.
The worst thing you can do at an interview is forget to be human and although preparation is absolutely vital to your success, that doesn’t mean you have to let it hide who you are as a person. Rehearsing your answers word-for-word, whilst memorising a range of facts about the company and reeling off a scripted response for every question they throw at you may mean that your personality and genuine enthusiasm for the role gets lost.
The interviewer will want to see your personality as well as your ability to answer a question – and most importantly, they want to be able to have a two-way conversation with you. A lot of emphasis when recruiting for trainee graduate and junior broker roles is on the personality and likeability of a candidate, meaning it’s important that you allow you to come across as natural as possible. This means less of the rehearsed question and answer scenarios, and more flowing conversation. That way, everyone has an input, and everyone has an opportunity to learn.
You share the wrong things
If you’re sharing your skills and experience then great and providing anecdotes to illustrate those skills in more detail is ideal but remember this is a professional process and you need to come across in a positive way so complaining about the other half as an anecdote could end up showing you in a negative light.
No matter what it is, bringing up personal topics during an interview will do anything but improve your chances. There’s a time and a place for everything and for interview situations this is the time and the place to keep your conversation around professional topics only.
If your prospective employer gets the impression that you won’t be able to keep your personal life out of the office and in-turn affecting your work or even worse your colleague’s work, you may end up with an early exit from the interview process.
You say you’re a perfectionist
When it comes to answering a question about your work-related weaknesses in an interview your answer means everything.
No matter what type of role you’re interviewing for, this question is likely to come up, so being prepared to give a good answer is vital. Instead of pretending you don’t have any, no, you’re not a perfectionist, consider one of your weaknesses, and explain how you’re addressing it.
In other words, it was a weakness, but it’s in the process of becoming a strength. Not only do you come across proactive, you’ll also draw the interviewer’s attention to something other than the negatives. It’s a win-win.
If you say you don’t have any and the recruiter asks you to think of one or prompts you further, you will end up with an awkward silence and a disappointed interviewer who you have left with an unanswered question.
The old age weakness of having to keep yourself busy or always need to be working has also been used too often to sound genuine so try and think of a genuine weakness but also balance it out with a positive trait that helps to keep it in check.