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6 job interview MISTAKES you must avoid

Last updated on: August 20, 2013 14:38 IST

6 job interview MISTAKES you must avoid

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Are you guilty of committing these mistakes too?

You may be among the toppers from the best college in the country but that does not mean you deserve every job you interview for. You must work towards it says Indrajeit Borkakoty.

Borkakoty is the founder of AIB LEAP Advisory, a firm providing performance management solutions to MSMEs and Leadership Hiring services to select companies. Indrajeit was associated with the corporate world for close to 15 years, as an HR professional and prior to launching his own venture, he was the Head of HR & Personnel of Mid Day Infomedia Ltd.


1. Not finding out about your interviewer

Very often you are told the name of the person who will interview you. The least you can do is look the person up on the Internet or find out about her/him from people around you.

It becomes a point of connect between you and the interviewer during the time of the interview.

Look up the person on social media, find out her/his achievements and make sure you let her/him know in a subtle way that you've taken out the time to find out about them just as they would have done in your case.

I would even recommend you send a Linkedin invite to the person. It helps the interviewer know that you've been searching for her/him. Remember, it is the person who hires you, not the organisation.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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2. Not knowing about the industry and the company

Yet again, looking up the company that has invited you for an interview is basic courtesy. In today's times it isn't very difficult to find out about a company and know about their strengths and weaknesses.

Besides giving you a talking point during the interview, it shows you are genuinely interested in the job.

A recent case in point was when I was interviewing people for a sales position for a healthcare company.

Of the 45-odd people I met, there was one particular person who stands out in my memory for infusing the least confidence in me -- he was that underprepared.

He looked good on paper -- with BTech and an MBA degree but he was out of the room in about six minutes.

In contrast, there was another person who was just a graduate and had a diploma but the research he did about the company put him in a very, very strong position.

Unlike the good old times when MNCs could afford to keep bench strength staff, today organisations are working at operating or sometimes under-staff levels.

Managers are required to justify the people they hire and so it becomes your responsibility to show them that you are ready to hit the ground running.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier



Tags: MBA

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3. Lying about your achievements

Apart from the fact that it is just darned wrong, lying about your achievements or stealing thunder from your team isn't something that a smart interviewer won’t catch.

This applies more so if you are in a senior managerial position. Always acknowledge your team’s contribution. It doesn't just make you a bigger person in the eyes of your juniors but also in the opinion of your interviewer.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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4. Not consulting people before offering their names as references

If you’re offering people’s names as references, the first thing you ought to do is ask them!

Give them a heads up and let them know they will receive a call. More importantly tell them not to bulls**t on your behalf.

When someone calls up your reference they aren't expecting to hear negative things about you but you certainly don’t expect them to go overboard about your achievements. It is easier to see through these things than you can imagine.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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5. Not presenting yourself well

Presentation is critical when you’re appearing for an interview.

While different industries expect people to dress up differently, it is common sense that you mustn’t show up in a pair of torn jeans.

At the same time, don’t go overboard and wear a tie and blazer if you’re appearing for, let’s say, a position in a new age media company.

Dress appropriately. If you need time to freshen up, excuse yourself before you meet your interviewer.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

 




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6. Not updating your resume regularly

You must spend time to update your resume, add the skills you’ve acquired over the years across jobs and keep your resume as updated as possible.

Most importantly before you get an interview call read through it once and ensure you use examples to illustrate the points you’ve made in the resume. It lends credibility to the interview.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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7. Not sitting appropriately

Once the interview starts, it is crucial that you sit properly. You must not come across as being too arrogant or casual. It is a fine balance that you must learn to strike.

Do not sit in a way that may come across as being confrontational, nor as being disinterested. Take cue from your interviewer's body language and respond accordingly.

If you are being interviewed by multiple people, ensure you look at each of them when you're responding. Draw them into your conversation.

It is the best way to get them involved in your story and convince them that you’re the best person for the job.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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