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This article was first published 11 years ago

Top 5 blunders fresh grads make in an interview

Last updated on: May 16, 2013 12:59 IST

Harsh Thakkar,
Find out how your lack of research and unpreparedness could cost you your dream job.

While employers claim that campus interviews are the easiest way to get into a company, job seekers will attest that they  are also rather unpredictable.

There have been times when a candidate despite being well prepared for the interview is unable to clear it.

So what prevents him from getting the job?

Is it bad luck or some mistake on the job seeker's part?

We have compiled a list of the top five mistakes college job seekers make which prevents them from getting their coveted dream job.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/


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Tags: Dominic

1. Not being dressed for the occasion

There are times when the interview is scheduled at odd hours or you are called all of a sudden and do not get time to dress up properly.

Even before the interview, there may be a long arduous wait in an uncomfortable area.

But none of this is reason to not look your very best for the interview.

Often candidates wear mismatched clothes.

While their attire does adhere to the expectations set by the company, it does not leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Candidates should always carry a comb, to comb their hair, disheveled from the wait.

They should keep a handkerchief in their pocket to quickly wipe their shoes.

The shirt must be clean and ironed for the interview. You must dress to impress.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/


2. Showing signs of nervousness

Interviews make the best of the candidates nervous.

What sets them apart is the ability to hide nervousness. Nervous reactions and apparent tension can be deal breakers.

The candidate should keep calm, take a deep breath and try speaking with confidence.

S/he should try to be more confident in his words and not fumble around papers and chairs.

While greeting the interviewer, give a firm handshake.

A confident candidate has half of the task completed.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

Tags: Uttam , Rediff

3. Not researching the company properly

Most companies have a set of requirements for their new hire.

Some of these requirements are rather specific to the company and often stressed on during the interviews.

Some candidates however do not explicitly prepare for these specific requirements.

Thus, they are stumped on the questions pertaining to these specific areas and are rejected from the interview.

For instance, a candidate in his Goldman Sachs interview was asked a probability question, probability and statistics being a specific requirement in their job profile.

Unfortunately, he wasn't well prepared in probability and statistics and had to lose out on the job.

To avoid such instances, a candidate should go through the company's requirements thoroughly and prepare himself accordingly.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

4. Not over-communicating

When some job seekers are given a particularly tough problem, they sometimes silently mull over it.

This does not negatively impact them much if they get the right answer.

However, if they get a wrong answer, it becomes equivalent to "I don't know this answer".

The job seeker should always communicate each step s/he is doing while solving the problem because it shows his/her problem solving ability and approach.

If the interviewer feels that the candidate is going in a completely different direction, s/he may even provide hints.

The biggest benefit is that even if you get a wrong answer, the interviewer might like your approach and you may still clear the round.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

Tags: Uttam , Rediff

5. Going unprepared for the personal questions

Questions like "Tell me about yourself", "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" haunt all job seekers every year.

For most of such questions, any average job seeker has a standard answer ready to be spewed at the interviewer.

This fact is also known to the interviewer and some interviewers are known to cross question and delve deeper into the psyche of the job seeker with more comprehensive and follow-up questions.

So, if a job seeker mentions he is creative, the interviewer goes one step further asking him to show his creativity where the candidate fumbles.

In one such incident, when a candidate claimed that he was creative, he was asked to draw a new logo for the company.

While some companies use these questions to break the ice between the interviewer and the candidate, some others use this as a system for defining if the candidate is fit to work in their office environment.

The candidate should treat the personal questions with the same importance as he would to his projects, a fact stressed on by Shraddha Mehta, who landed a coveted job in Crisil.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/