Interviewing is a skill that requires preparation, practice, and patience. New college grads, in particular, may face difficulties due to a lack of professional experience. Here are five common mistakes to avoid:
1. Me-focused answer to “Tell me about yourself”
Don’t misinterpret the “tell me about yourself” question as an invitation to prattle on about all of your accomplishments going back to high school. Keep your answer professional and relevant to any experiences that would be an asset in the job for which you are applying.
2. Underselling yourself
On the flip side of the coin. don’t be too shy to talk about your strengths and skills. An interview is a time to showcase yourself and strike a balance between confidence and humility.
3. Over-inquiring about company culture
Don’t ask questions that you can easily find on the company website. Choose one (maybe two) question to ask about the business climate and goals of the company. Too many may make you appear high-maintenance.
4. Reciting your resume word for word
The interviewer already has your resume. Now they want to know about the high level and what you gained from your past experiences. Highlight how the experiences you’ve had have improved you as a person and employee.
5. Avoid overusing “I”
Your interviewer will know that you didn’t do everything yourself. Crediting team members and using “we” when applicable will show that you can work with others, and possibly even lead them.
6. Thinking you need to know everything
If you don’t know the answer, don’t lie. Explain how you would go about finding the answer. Resourcefulness is a desired trait in employees too.