Interviews the 10 most common myths and tips
Updated: Jun 1
My name is John Lowe from Regent Coaching and I am a specialist in recruitment interviews and career coaching. I have assessed over 30000 candidates and here are my top interview tips to incorporate and myths to avoid.
Myth: make sure you establish a good rapport with the interviewers
Tip: the interviewer’s focus is on whether you can do the job rather than whether you are going to be their new friend.
Myth: Interviews are like question time. The more questions I answer correctly, the more likely I am to get the job.
Tip: interviewers are judging your soft skills. How you say it is more important than what you say.
Myth: never discuss salary at interviews.
Tip: always discuss salary at interview. If you rent a flat or buy a car you will be working to a budget. If you are applying for a job you will have a minimum salary in mind. Remember job adverts can be inflated. I understand the salary range to be...' is a good approach.
Myth: don’t talk too much or the interviewer will think you don’t listen.
Tip: the interview balance should be between 60-70% in favour of the interviewee. How else can the interviewer judge your competence and communication skills?
Myth: the interview is a test like an examination. It is important that I give the right answer.
Tip: We redefine an interview as an opportunity to perform rather than a situation to be tested. The interviewer is on your side. They want to fill the role and they want you to be the right person. Job filled means their problem is solved
Myth: my CV should be no longer than 2 pages.
Tip: your CV is read for content not for length. The length will be determined by your experience and the nature of your work. If you are the CEO of a large multinational then I think the 2 pay maxim would read like a bit of a crammer.
Myth: I must not repeat myself.
Tip: we often describe interviews as “selling yourself” and we define selling as saying the same thing many times. So don’t be afraid to continually endorse your strong attributes on interview. You can always rephrase the content.
Myth: tell the interviewer about your hobbies and your interests outside work so that they get to know the real you.
Tip: keep your focus on your work competencies. If you tell them all about the fact that you go to lots of clubs, love rap and pop, yoga, salsa dancing, rock-climbing and skiing the interviewer might think that your Monday to Friday is an interruption to your long weekends.
Myth: smile and be friendly. If you have a good sense of humour, show it. Offices can be dreary places and a good joke can liven up the atmosphere.
Tip: keep this skill for when you are with friends and having a good night out. Being the office comedian is not usually a compliment.
Myth: don’t sound too keen or enthusiastic or the interviewer will think you are desperate.
Tip: as an interviewer I like candidates who are really interested enthusiastic and motivated by the role and who are not afraid to tell me so.
Incorporate these brief expert tips and they will enhance your performance on interview and increase your chances of being offered that new exciting role.