7 interview mistakes you never thought of

 You’ve seen the hotel, restaurant or catering job   you want, you’ve sent off your resume and you’ve got a first interview. So, what are the mistakes you need to avoid to ensure you clear this hurdle and get a second one?

Well, there’s a lot of advice out there, and you’ve probably heard the obvious ones about not turning up late and not looking scruffy.

You’ve probably even heard the horror stories of the interviewees who chewed gum throughout their interviews, or started munching on sandwiches. Or the ones with the odd questions (tip: never ask an interviewer if that’s their natural hair color).

But what about the other interview mistakes that no one tells you about? Here are seven lesser-known errors to avoid.

1. Turning up too early

Being late is the classic interview mistake. However turning up too early can be almost as devastating to your chances. Your interviewers will need to find a place for you to wait, get you a drink, and so on. In a busy bar, restaurant or hotel this can be a potential imposition. So arrive ten minutes before your allotted time. Not later; not earlier.

2. Dressing too smartly

Turn up to an interview in ripped shorts, an old t-shirt and some flip-flops and you’ll probably find yourself back out the door before you know it. However, that doesn’t mean that you should turn up to every interview in a suit.

The key is to dress appropriately. For instance, in chef jobs you’re unlikely to wear a suit, so it’s quite likely that smart casual will be perfectly acceptable attire for the interview. However, if you’re interviewing for a five-star hotel, smarter is probably better.

3. Staring unblinkingly at them

Eye contact is good. It allows people to make a connection with you, and we tend to trust people who make eye contact with us. However, excessive eye contact will make your interviewer uncomfortable.

In the same way, a firm handshake is a good idea, but don’t crush their hand. Also, while we tend to warm to people who smile, we are less enthusiastic about people who do so incessantly. You don’t look friendly, you just look a bit mad.

4. Regurgitating their website

You’re keen to get this job. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a great job after all. So you’ve done your research: you’ve looked at their website, found out what they do and where they’re going. You can go into the interview armed with all the facts, ready to deal intelligently with any question they throw at you.

Don’t go and ruin all this hard work by trying too hard to demonstrate your new found knowledge. The people interviewing you know what their company does, its growth plans, and so on. They don’t need you telling them all about it. At best you’ll look desperate; at worst you’ll start boring them.

5. Giving too much information

In the same way, be careful not to talk too much. You should be doing most of the talking, but don’t waffle on with irrelevant detail, don’t talk so much they can’t get any questions in, and, whatever you do, don’t start criticizing former employers or colleagues.

6. Being too relaxed

You want to be relaxed, calm and focused. You don’t, however, want to be so relaxed that you start calling the interviewer by a nickname, make inappropriate jokes, or start calling him or her ’mate‘. They’re not your mate; they’re your prospective boss.

7. Having too many questions

While it’s a good idea to prepare some insightful questions about the job, the company and your possible future in it, you don’t want to start grilling the interviewer. Remember, also, that no interviewer is going to be impressed by someone who only asks about the pay, the benefits and the holiday allowance.

The good news is that many of the people you’re competing against for this job will make these mistakes. So, be calm, competent and friendly, and before you know it, you’ll be planning for your second interview.

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  • Allison Sullivan was amazing! 

    She found my resume online and reached out to me. I had been in the market looking for the right next step in my career for several months and had been receiving calls daily from different recruiters so I didn’t expect anything magical to occur overnight. Allison called me, we chatted quickly about my work experience and she advised me she thought I’d be perfect for a client she was working with….and literally the next day I got a call for an interview with the client. The day after the interview, I was immediately offered a position consulting on insurance claim management. Allison was checking in with me each step of the way and made the transition from unemployed to working at a career I’m excited about in no time at all! I cannot thank her and Patrice & Associates enough for all their help!  

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    She was kind, informative, and very encouraging during the process of applying, interviewing, and finally accepting the position once it was offered to me. I have worked with several recruiters before and Liz was the most friendly and professional at the same time. She made me feel comfortable and also made me feel confident during the interview process. After only a few weeks, I now consider Liz a friend and would certainly recommend her to anyone who is in the looking in the labor market. Thank you Liz, I appreciate you as a person and a professional.

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    I am very thankful for Liz Costa
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    I am truly excited to start this new journey at this restaurant. I can honestly say I don't think I would have been able to pull this off without Jonathan Litt's help. He was more than professional but at the same time he was authentic and explained everything I needed to do to make things work. He definitely set me up for success. My confidence level wasn't what it used to be, but with his help he made me believe in myself. He encouraged me and believed in me as well. I will never forget his efforts. My appreciation for his work and dedication will always be remembered. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this process. I am forever grateful.

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    I love it at my new career and picture my future here. Rick was awesome in helping me choose where I need to be and how I had to get there. It took a lot of interviews and me turning jobs down because it wasn’t a fit for me. At my new career I’m in the right place!  

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