During my last year of college, there were many organizations that reached out for job placements. As students, we were thrilled and began preparing for them. I could not give my best in all of these interviews and missed out on some opportunities. So here is a list of the obvious mistakes I made during these interviews and how they can be avoided:
- Being unprepared: During the final semester, most of my friends started acing their interviews and landing jobs. I was unclear of what I wanted which put me under unnecessary pressure because of which I applied for roles that I was not even remotely interested in. Naturally, I went under prepared. For example, I was unable to answer questions related to tax for the role of a tax analyst.
How to avoid: Do not apply for a job just for the sake of it. Always review the job description in detail before you apply for the job. If you really need that job, because you know it pays well and you need the money, note down the requirements of the job and prepare for the frequently asked questions.
- Not taking enough time to think: What I started to realize after I attended a couple of interviews was that, I did not take time to think and articulate my answers during interviews. I would jump straight to answering the question which did not allow me to effectively communicate my ideas.
How to avoid: Certain questions asked during interviews require you to think through the answer. So it is okay to request the interviewer to allow you 2-3 minutes to gather your thoughts. Some even provide pen and paper to quickly note down your points. So have an idea of what they are trying to test during the interview and take some time to collect your ideas.
- Not asking questions: Most interviews end with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. In the interviews that did not go well, I did not ask the relevant question or did not ask any questions at all. This speaks about your professionalism, ambition and communication skills.
How to avoid: Fresh out of college, you are expected to be proactive and curious. So asking questions will communicate the idea that you are eager to learn. You could ask them any relevant question related to the interview or the industry.
- Giving up: Interviews usually last about 20-30 minutes per person. You get a lot of chances to make up if you have made mistakes. Giving up and performing averagely halfway through the interview just because you made a couple of mistakes is not the answer. What I failed to realize was that for certain questions, they are testing your approach and not the answer itself.
How to avoid: This is simple. If the interview is for 30 minutes, give your 100% throughout. If you have made mistakes in answering question 1 and question 2, its all right. You may blow their mind with your answer for question number 3. Do not give up.
In addition to this, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind before you attend an interview like dressing appropriately, doing enough research, having the right body language, being on time, being energetic and paying attention. This is not an exhaustive list. But they definitely are slips that we over look. Hope this helps. 🙂