Putting your foot in it: Common interview mistakes

You have applied for hundreds of jobs. You have sent off many an application form. You have bagged that all-important interview. And then you put your foot in it and ruin your chances. Trust us, this has happened to many people, which means that recruiters often face this on a regular basis. It is not the mistake which therefore matters, but how you then deal with it.

"Would I lie to you?"

When someone is under pressure, it is easy to often say something that is not entirely true. However, you are only asking for trouble here. If you say that you know about something, when you really don't, chances are that the interviewer will ask you to either elaborate or exemplify the skill. Instead of coming up with lies, focus on the skills you do have and work them to your advantage.

"Sorry, that was a bit rude…"

You are going to ultimately want to be friendly with everyone you meet on your interview day. This does not mean you should suck up or be overly friendly with anyone, but never cross the line into rudeness. A perfect example of this is being nice and polite to the boss, but being very rude to the receptionist on the way up. It may turn out that the receptionist complains to the employer, tarnishing any chance you ever had.  If it seems that confidence in the interview room transforms into arrogance outside of the room, you can kiss that job goodbye.

"Come on, mate."

As part of the interview process, managers will be wanting to look at your social skills, especially if you want to work in the hospitality sector. However, you don't want to be too relaxed or informal. Never lower the tone by talking about your social life outside of work, using slang, giving the interviewer a nickname, or calling him your 'mate' as he certainly is not that. Never be polished with your language, but simultaneously never be coarse.

"So how much is the pay?"

This is a phrase you should never say in a first interview. Salary negotiation is a big no-no, as it will come across that your main motivation behind the job is the money. Employers want to see interest and passion, not someone who just thinks about paying their bills.

Instead, concentrate on asking about where the company is going, the department in which you will be working, and what skills you will be able to develop in the vacancy. Leave this question until the second interview or once you have been given a formal offer.

"I have no idea."

Inevitably, at one point, you will be asked a question that you have no clue how to answer. This may lead to you rambling and thinking on the spot. Moments like this should require you to take a few seconds to just be silent, mull over the question and construct a properly-formed answer in your head. If doubtful, it is always best to just be honest and say you don't know the answer. This does not mean you have failed the interview; if anything, the interviewer may respect your honesty.

Hospitality jobs can be a nifty thing to nab, so make sure you don't put your foot in it at the interview stage.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hospitality jobs.