What to avoid doing when prepping for an interview

The candidates who tend to have the most success in interviews are the ones that are best prepped and have done their research.  We all know we should be reading up on the company, the people we’re meeting, the case studies and projects, their social networks, plus reading any published pieces or blog posts about the company or written by its employees.  But what about the things we should avoid doing? Here’s a list of exactly that and there are probably a few you hadn’t thought of…

Make sure you avoid:

Over preparing

This can lead to you focusing on remembering everything rather than concentrating on the conversation.

Googling “common interview questions”

These are not the questions you’re likely to be asked. Instead think about your background, your achievements and what value you can add.

Not rereading your CV

Your work history is like a story and you need to know this inside out. Think about your career chronology – what are you most proud of, what have you struggled with, what are the skills you’ve developed, how did you become great at management or organisation, what challenges have you had to overcome, and how did you get to where you are today.

Drinking too much coffee before the interview

Coffee does actually enhance short-term memory performance, helps improve attention capacity and problem solving skills but too much can make you nervous, shaky, and generally unfit for a job interview!

Not reading the job description

This is a fundamental thing that many people forget – read that job description and get to grips with what the company is looking for. Think about the top three things they need and how you fulfil them and make sure to deliver those points in the interview.

Scheduling an interview in the afternoon

This is more of a tip if you’re someone that often gets nervous ahead of a meeting. Afternoon meetings mean that you sit around all day waiting for the interview. Also, meeting in the morning means there’s more time to get feedback and decisions whereas in the afternoon most people are just thinking about going home.

Not asking about dress code

There’s nothing worse than meeting someone who’s wearing shorts and flip flops when you’re in a full suit. It makes any meeting pretty uncomfortable – make sure to check the dress code and to dress appropriately – shorts and flip flops are, however, rarely ever okay!

Not thinking about what you want to know

Asking questions of the interviewer is crucial. It not only shows you’re prepared but it also shows that you’re genuinely interested in working there. Try to go beyond the typical questions and actually ask the questions that genuinely mean something to you – what do the next 12 months look like? What’s the vision? How are employees rewarded beyond salary? These are questions that show you want to be part of the story.

I’m a Founding Partner of Bamboo Crowd. I help our clients invest better in people and scale through Engine. I solve recruitment challenges and help our clients source the best talent across operations, business development, programme management, and technology. Ask me about good films, beards and hip hop.