Ben Hayward July 15th
2020

Interviews are probably one of the most daunting things you have to do as an adult - especially with the economic situation it looks we’re facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It’s easy for nerves to get the better of us in these situations, which can lead to a whole host of easily avoidable mistakes that can really affect the impression we leave on our potential employers.

Well, new research carried out by StandOut-CV has revealed the 10 biggest mistakes people make in interviews, according to 2,765 surveyed employers.

So, what are the pitfalls we need to avoid? The biggest no-no is rocking up to your interview and not knowing anything about the company according to 76% of employers. Not far behind is ‘arriving late’ (72%), while ‘dressing inappropriately’ (61%) finishes off the top three.

The top 10 mistakes people make in interviews are:

  1. Not knowing anything about the company (76%)

  2. Arriving late (72%)

  3. Dressing inappropriately (61%)

  4. Talking too much or not enough (56%)

  5. Forgetting to follow-up (52%)

  6. Negative body language e.g. not making eye contact (41%)

  7. Not asking good questions or asking the wrong questions at the wrong time (40%)

  8. Criticising previous employers or colleagues (38%)

  9. A bad handshake (24%)

  10. Apologising unnecessarily (18%)

‘Talking too much or not enough’ (56%) is another common problem, and ‘forgetting to follow-up’ could cost you the job. In fact, over half (52%) of employers say they reject a good candidate if they do not receive an email follow-up after the interview.

“A follow-up email shows people really want the job, and a simple ‘thank you for the opportunity’ note checks a big box,” adds a spokesperson from StandOut-CV.

But what are the most common interview mistakes millennials are making? 

To find out, StandOut-CV surveyed just over 3,000 millennials (aged 24-39) and asked them to select the mistakes they have made and are likely to make in an interview.

The most common mistake millennials admit to making is ‘not asking good questions or asking the wrong questions at the wrong time’, at 73%. Followed by ‘talking too much or not enough’ (58%) and ‘arriving too early’ (50%.)

The top 10 mistakes millennials make in interviews are:

  1. Not asking good questions or asking the wrong questions at the wrong time (73%)

  2. Talking too much or not enough (58%)

  3. Arriving too early (50%)

  4. Not collecting contact information or asking the next-steps questions (40%)

  5. Apologising unnecessarily (40%)

  6. Not knowing anything about the company (38%)

  7. Forgetting to follow-up (35%)

  8. Negative body language e.g. not making eye contact (33%)

  9. Displaying low energy (23%)

  10. Arriving unprepared (23%)

In fact, while arriving early is better than arriving late, if it is early enough to disrupt your interviewer you should avoid it and grab a coffee nearby instead.  

“You should aim to arrive 10 minutes early to an interview, but not any earlier. Arriving too early can be hugely disruptive to a hiring manager’s schedule” adds a spokesperson from StandOut-CV.

Outside of the top 10 mistakes, millennials are also guilty of:

Not bringing a CV/resume (20%)Dressing inappropriately (15%)A bad handshake (15%)Criticising previous employers or colleagues (10%)Arriving late (5%)Flirting or other inappropriate behaviour (5%)Forgetting the company name (3%)

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