New Year, New Job: Five common job interview mistakes

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Lis Naylor, MD of recruitment firm Lis Welsh, tells us what the biggest interview pitfalls job hunters face and how they can be avoided.

1. A lack of interview preparation – know your target.

a. Always know who the key decision makers are in the company and in particular for overseas head offices – know who the CEO/chairman is and what their background is

b. Research the person you are being interviewed by – it helps to build a rapport and demonstrates you have shown interest in the individual

c. Have a good understanding of the company's products and be able to answer and ask questions and have a point of view

d. Look at the website and understand the culture of the business – try to find out what the company vision is

e. Understand their target market and think how you may be able to help them achieve their goals with your experience and knowledge.

2. Inappropriateattire.

Dress appropriately, for the first interview always wear a suit (jacket and trousers, jacket and skirt?) and make sure your shoes are clean, hair is washed/cut and fingers nails are clean. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and you can always dress downslightlyon your second or third interview once you know the company culture.

3. Appearing disinterested and not 'hungry enough'

Preparea list of questions, have the note pad open when you are being interviewed and be seen to refer to it; when the interview is finished and you are asked if there are any more questions – check your pad again and if all questions have been answered say "no thank you have answered all the questions I had prepared".

4. Losing focus and not matching your skills to the job

Reviewthe jobdescription prior to your interview and write down the key skills required and what your experience is against them….make sure you bring into the interview conversation these key points as the person interviewing you is not always an experienced interviewer and may not ask these important questions and will be left believing you don't have the skills and experience.

5. Letting nerves get the better of you

Whenattending an interview try not to be nervous, this isn't only about the client liking you it is equally about liking them and establishing if this is the right career move for you, does it achieve your career aims and objectives? Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be worried about declining a job offer.

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