Setting yourself apart from the crowd is vital when you are looking for that new job. This applies for all stages of the recruitment process – you want to ensure that your CV is at the top of a recruiter or hiring manager’s pile, and that your interview shows you in the best possible light.
People looking to fill a role will be looking for that something special which sets the very best candidates apart. To give yourself the best opportunity, here are some very common mistakes and phrases which you should try to avoid in those all-important interviews
I don’t know
Interviewers will be looking to stretch and challenge candidates during the course of the recruitment process. The best way of dealing with the tough questions is to do your homework. The importance of research cannot be understated – you should know about the company, and be prepared for anything you will be asked about your own CV. Of course if there is a question which you are not expected to know the answer to, or if you are genuinely stuck, don’t make things up or try to bluff your way through. Move back into your comfort zone, relate the question back to something you do know and take on board any new information you are given. But as I said, proper planning and preparation is essential.
What’s the salary?
The salary is always a tough point to discuss with a new employer, especially at the interview stage. There is a time and place to bring it up, and the first interview isn’t always the right one. At the same time, you don’t want to get too far down the process and not know what the salary is. Initially you should have a good indication of the remuneration from the job description. The chances are that the interviewer themselves will ask you what sort of salary you are looking for – this gives you the opportunity to talk about it and negotiate the best deal for you.
How many holidays do I get?
Companies are on the look-out for people that are motivated and willing to put in the necessary effort. They want staff to be ambitious, driven self-starters, not people who are just looking for an easy life. If you want a fulfilling career and the rewards that tend to come with that, then you have to be prepared to go that extra mile. Of course you are perfectly entitled to perks, but try to avoid talking about things like holiday entitlement straight away, because it can give off the wrong impression.
I dislike my current company
You never want to turn the tone of the interview negative, even if you may be having a bad experience at your current job. All this does is make you seem like somebody who is difficult to manage. If asked why you are leaving, focus more on your ambitions for the future and what excites you about the job you are applying for.
I don’t have any questions
I have written before about candidates needing to ask questions themselves in interviews. You want to show prospective employers how keen you are to get the role. The research you have done may have thrown up some interesting facts that you can ask about, or you may want to know about the scope for personal development. You may also wish to get some more information about your role or the working culture – either way it is important that the interview process is not one sided.