Interviewing - Getting That Job

by Jane Tredgett

Common pitfalls

The most common pitfalls interviewees fall into are

  • Not knowing how to write a good application form – either the presentation is poor or the candidate undersells themselves
  • Sending CVs that are overly long, hoping this suggests credibility and experience
  • Not tailoring a covering letter or CV to the position
  • Lack of preparation – approaching the interview stage, some candidates take the ostrich approach by burying their head in the sand and trying to forget about it until it is too late to prepare; their lack of research and preparation lets down many interviewees
  • Missing visual (body language) clues – this often occurs as a result of intense focus taking on the part of the interviewee, which results in them missing an important cue from the interviewer
  • Giving unexciting answers to questions – replies that do not demonstrate your abilities and achievements, or are not at all memorable
  • Not having any good questions prepared
  • The halo effect – the average decision time an interviewer takes to make their mind up is under four minutes (Webster 1964). The rest of the interview is spent justifying the decision they have already made. Beware of giving a poor first impression – it is hard to recover ground that is lost in the early minutes.