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How to avoid making common interview mistakes

Job interviews can be extremely nerve-racking, particularly for people who have limited experience going through the process. This may be the case when you’re applying for an apprenticeship or traineeship, especially if you’ve recently left school.

Still searching for the right apprenticeship or traineeship opportunity? You should visit Apprenticeship Central to get a better idea of which programs suit your personality and skills. The site contains extensive information and innovative tools to help in your search for a dream career.

Nevertheless, once you’ve been offered an interview, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible to ensure you have the best chance of success. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make in interviews, as well as simple tips to help you avoid them.

Arriving too late or early

Most people know that arriving late is a definite no-no for an interview, but being too early can also be a problem. Your interviewer may not be ready and can feel pressured to keep you occupied while you await your appointment. As such, try to turn up between five and 10 minutes ahead of your interview, but no earlier.

Dressing incorrectly

This can be tricky for apprentices and trainees as there is a wide variety in what interviewers might deem appropriate attire for an interview. Building sites often allow more casual wear than an office environment. If you’re unsure, ask your potential employer or an apprenticeships service provider for guidance.

Failing to do research

Employers understand that many apprentices and trainees may not have direct industry experience, extensive skills or relevant qualifications. However, they are likely to expect you to understand the role for which you’re applying and show interest in the company. Research the organisation and interviewer via the firm’s website and social media profiles if possible.

Poor etiquette in the interview

Whether it’s chewing gum, forgetting to switch off a phone or failing to maintain eye contact, there are numerous ways that interviewees can give a bad first impression. You may also want to practise your handshake because some employers view a limp greeting as a sign of poor confidence.

Forgetting to ask questions

You should always have follow-up questions prepared for the interview to show you’re interested in the position. However, you should avoid questions regarding job perks or wages as this can seem self-serving. Instead, ask about the company’s history, its plans for the future and opportunities for progression.

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