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By Audrey Korir

Are you guilty of these 6 common interview mistakes?

We asked recruitment experts from Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR Firm In Nairobi for the common mistakes to avoid during interviews, together with some helpful tips to ensure that it does not happen to you, have a look;

1. Under Preparing for the Interview 
The experts agree that this is the most common interview mistake that most professionals make when they go for interviews. This may mean failing to research the company, not taking the time to understand the job description, not knowing what is expected of you in the role or even the kind of questions to expect.

“Lack of preparation creates anxiety and this is why I always advise candidates to do thorough research on the company beforehand. I also emphasize on telling them to read the job description as though they were reading for an exam, so that they can understand the job and what the role requires”, says Carolyne Kariuki, a senior recruiter at Corporate Staffing Services

“The worst thing you can do is go in under-prepared, not knowing who you’re meeting and not having some answers prepared,” agrees Cynthia Wangechi, an expert in the recruitment department.

QUICK READ>>> Dealing With Anxiety Before Or During Interviews

2. Talking about the wrong things
You need to appear as professional as possible during the interview, so always limit your answers to what the job description expects of you and showing the employer how you would fit in that role.

“Many candidates fail to talk about topics or experiences that best showcase their experience and knowledge. This is why I always encourage them to give examples when they are trying to further explain their skills”, says Carolyne Kariuki.

Cynthia also agrees that giving examples is the best way to summarize your skills. She advises that candidates should spend some time beforehand thinking about which relevant examples to showcase.

3. Showing up late
This is the one thing that can easily get you disqualified even before you start the interview. It will happen if you have not taken the time to work out your route to the venue and the exact whereabouts within the job location.

“A serious candidate will always make sure they are early. If you are not sure of the time and directions, call the day before to confirm everything”, says Carolyne.

From her experience in conducting interviews, she urges candidates not to give generic excuses like being lost or stuck in traffic to employers. It creates a negative impression.

“Always remember that every time you go for a job interview, you are preparing yourself for judgment, so always show positive aspects of you that you would like the employer to see”, she adds.

4. Dressing inappropriately
Do your research about the company’s dress code culture by looking through their website, career page or even social media handles. Dress the part and demonstrate that you mean business by ensuring that you look presentable and professional.

Do not let your dressing be a distraction to the interviewer, especially when they are asking you crucial questions during the interview.

“Impression matters. You may have all the qualifications but how you present yourself is what counts; an employer may or may not choose you based on how you look. Presentation is key, dress appropriately”, says Carolyne Kariuki.

5. Forgetting the connection between your CV and the interview
Your CV is a marketing tool that you use to convince potential employers that you are the right person. Most employers are trying to place a face to the CV because this gives them a chance to get to know you.

With this in mind, it is upon you to ensure that all the information that is on your CV is relevant and true. Your conversation with the interviewer will be prompted by the information that you have indicated in your CV.

“I recall a certain interview, where the candidate was not aware of the contents they had put in their CV. I asked them about their experience working for a certain company they had mentioned but the candidate didn’t seem to have a clue that they had included it in their CV”, says Veronica Gikonyo, a HR expert at Corporate Staffing Services

In simple terms, don’t put anything on your CV that you’re not prepared to talk about or that doesn’t show off your skills in the best light.

6. Lying:
Lying is a no-no at an interview. As a job seeker, you may think that you can simply get away with keeping up a lie from your CV all through to the interview. However, what you should remember is that most employers conduct background checks to verify all the information that you indicate in your CV.

“It is always important for candidates to be honest and professionally explain themselves. Do not lie or give fake information, because it may disqualify you if the employer finds out that you lied”, advises Carolyne.

Cynthia agrees and urges candidates to portray their CV as a factual record, highlighting things done and achieved not just as a way of getting the job.

Everyone makes mistakes, and, often, the mistakes may cost you a chance at your dream job. Avoid them and kick start your journey to having many successful interviews.

How can we help you?

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