• John J Lowe

Interviews the 10 most common myths and tips

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

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. ' I understand the salary 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?

Myth:  the interview is a test like an examination. It is important that I give the right answer.

Tip:  I redefine an interview as an opportunity to perform rather than a situation to be tested. Remember, the interviewer is on your side. They want to fill the job and they want you to be the right person.

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.

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 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 place.

Tip:  keep this skill for when you are with friends and having a good night out.

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 and motivated by the role and tell me so.

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