By Vivian Bore

Congratulations for landing that interview! However, many candidates who make it for the interview, jeopardise their chances of closing the deal. Below are five common mistakes to avoid if you want your job-hunting process to come to an end.

  • Arriving Late or Too Early:

This almost goes without saying: do not be late for your interview.

Aim to be at the agreed location at least fifteen minutes before the set time. This will not only give you time to relax and catch your breath, but also allow you time to get a feel of the organisation. Arriving too early can make you look desperate or inconvenience the interviewer.

  • Not Doing Your Homework:

Be keen to know the background of the company, and the details surrounding the job you have applied for. Having little or no idea of the company, what it does and even the position you are applying for will communicate to the recruiters that you are not interested in the job per se. Therefore, do your research. You may start with the company’s website and social media pages to get more information about the organization.

  • Trash-talking Previous Employers:

Regardless of how much you think they deserve it, do not trash any of your previous employers. You will come across as bitter and angry (a put off already) but most importantly, you may come out as disloyal. Avoid doing this at all costs, as nobody will hire somebody they don’t think they can trust.

  • Sharing Too Much Information:

While you are encouraged to refrain from one-word answers, please note that the panel is not asking for the intricate details of your life.

Confine yourself to the question asked and share only what is appropriate.

Yes, this means your love for cats is off-topic. Unless of course, the job in question is at a vet’s office.

  • Inappropriate Presentation:

Be clean, neat and organised. This goes for both the presentation of your documents and your dressing/ grooming.

When packaging your documents, choose a good quality folder instead of an envelope. Folders do not bend and will help protect your documents from being crumpled or folding at the corners. Unlike envelopes, they are also easy to clean should they get any stains or smudges.

In terms of dressing, conservative colours are your safest option. Opt for colours such as grey, black and dark shades of blue. Also remember to keep your hair kempt. For the men this may mean a visit to the barber’s, and simple hairstyles for women.

The same principle applies for make-up and jewellery. Less is better works best in this setting.

Bonus Tips:

  • Arrange your documents in the order of attainment.
  • Don’t get familiar with any of the panelists.
  • Avoid using your phone. Remember to put it on silent.
  • Also, know your documents. Avoid referring to your CV during the interview.

Vivian Bore is a Human Resource Practitioner at Ultra Limited Kenya with several years of experience.