Having attended many interviews I have learned that there are a lot of people who tell you and lot of info on what’s the right thing to do. But rarely have I come across anyone telling me on what things I must avoid. So, I have learned these lessons myself, the hard way. Here’s a small list of mistakes that you should never make in an interview :
i) Don’t embellish your resume/CV : Its never a good idea to write about stuff that you haven’t worked on. I was part of a big project and by mistake I listed a module in my resume that I had not worked on. Somehow, the interviewers picked on this and I was stumped. I fumbled, but managed to give a convincing reply. Nevertheless, be as truthful as you can.
ii) Don’t talk too much or be too modest : Somehow, we fall into the trap of either talking too much or being too modest. Let your resume do the talking and be ready to justify each and every point mentioned in the resume. Do not talk out of turn and do not talk too much, but at the same time don’t keep silent either. Being too modest can be harmful, so speak in a balanced manner.
iii) Dress well and appear polished : No one wants a lousy looking employee because most often than not, dressing sense is a reflection of our attitude. Dress well and appear well mannered. The moment you walk in, the first impression is created. And that impression may or may not change. So, instead of taking a chance, be polished. Come prepared, have a positive attitude and let your body language also do the talking. Dress up in a tie/suit if required. Its better to be over-dressed than under-dressed!
iv) Don’t discuss salary unless asked to : Pay is an important question, but it can wait. If we unnecessarily ask about pay, we will come across as desperate and money-minded. First secure the job, get to know the role and responsibility and what’s expected of you. Do not jump the gun by asking about pay structure and other salary related questions, unless the topic is broached upon by the interviewer.
v) Be on time : Last but definitely not the least, its better to be early by half an hour than be late by 2 mins. Its never a good idea to keep the interviewers waiting. Respect the value of time and be punctual.
Apart from these 5 key points, a few more come to my mind like be prepared, do not take a smoke just before the interview, don’t sound over-confident and of course, do a follow-up on the interview.