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7 mistakes to avoid in your interview

Whether you are applying to colleges or jobs, we have 7 tips for you to ace the interview.
BY Pratibha Alagh |   29-10-2018


Getting those nervous jitters before your big interview? Fret not! It is absolutely normal to feel nervous. You’re in the majority here.

Acing an interview is important because this is your chance to show the recruiters how you are more than your transcripts, essays, and references put together – your chance to wow them with the IT factor. And it’s easy enough. With a little practice you can be as cool as a Bang & Olufsen Speaker and sound as good.  

  1. Never leave out the two Ps – Preparation & Patience
    A dancer or a sportsperson achieves finesse by putting in hours of preparation (the first P). An interview should be treated just the same. Acing an interview requires patience (the second P) for plenty of research. Learn everything that there is to learn about the interviewer. We don’t mean the individual interviewer and his or her personal preferences. Instead, you should have clear and focused answers about why you applied, why you are a great fit, and why they should choose you.

  2. Do not rehearse too much
    It may seem contrary to our first point here. However, you do not want to appear that you have memorized answers. A seasoned interviewer can easily spot a person who seems to be simply reciting answers. Understand the process; think of your interview as a conversation. Often it helps to listen patiently to the interviewer and take a few seconds before answering. Be smart and confident, but not overconfident.

    Do not rehearse too much
  3. Do not brag about your achievements
    It’s a great that you have so many achievements, but avoid bragging about them. Focus on the journey that led you to your achievements and failures that helped you grow, that show you as a consistent learner. Use examples, for instance, if you are a star athlete, do not just talk about the 50 points you scored for your team, instead talk about the hours of practice you put in to make that happen.

  4. Do not be rude
    In an interview, you might feel irritated by repetitive or cross questions. Remember, the interviewer is evaluating you not just on your merits but also your personality. Be mindful of your tone and especially your body language. Folded arms say as much as polite words. And do not forget to smile –it is an interview, not an interrogation. At the end, do remember to thank the interviewer.

    Do not be rude
  5. Do not leave your phone on loud
    When so much is going on, it is easy to forget the little things. And these little things go a long way towards making the right impression. It is ideal to leave your phone outside the interview room, or to switch it off. Interviews are that fundamental form of communication - face-to-face. And this calls for 100% attention. You simply can not afford to be distracted.

  6. Do not be apathetic
    You didn’t get a call from the number one name on your list, but you did from number three. That’s no reason for you to take it easy or for granted. That could result in you losing an opportunity you would otherwise take for granted. You have to give it your best shot. Don’t be lukewarm. Do your research; show your preparation and personality. Be ready to learn something new.

  7. Do not forget to write a follow-up note
    Why is this necessary? Well, it’s simple. It makes you stand out. Personalize it, mention that you liked what the interviewer had to say on a certain topic, or that you were fascinated by the story of how the arts wing came up, or how exciting the prospect of being at the college or university is. This will show that you pay attention, are passionate, and can follow through.

Related links:
Interview Etiquette
Tips for a Top Interview
How to write great resumes and ace the interview
Blunders That Will Torpedo Your College Interview
Tackling the Post-University Job Interview
The 4 Questions a Columbia Business School Interviewer will Ask You
Decoding the Oxbridge Interview


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