Putting your foot in it: Top five interview mistakes

So you have received the call inviting you to the interview. Congratulations, you are one step closer to achieving that all-important job. There are a lot of things to consider such as not turning up late or scruffy, but what about the tips that many will not warn you about?

1. Do not be an eager beaver

It is great to show interest but turning up very early can also cause it's problems. The company may have to find a place to seat you and spend time waiting on you and getting drinks. This can cause problems in a busy hotel or restaurant. Your best bet is to get there ten minutes before your scheduled interview. Don't be too early or too late as this could really ruin your chances.

2. Information overload

You really want the job and you have done oodles of research. This means you can offer them facts and figures about their company and essentially answer any question they throw at you. However, at the same time, you should not try too hard. Of course, they will want to hear what you have to say, but be conscious not to waffle. The organisation will know what they do and how they are planning to grow: they don't need you to repeat it to them. If you look too eager, and you start boring them, you can kiss that job opportunity goodbye.

At the same time, when talking about yourself, be sure that the interviewer has the opportunity to get their questions in. Talk and show yourself off, but never come across as desperate and socially awkward, especially in a sector where communication skills are vital.

3. Formality must be balanced

Surprisingly, there can be a thing as dressing too smartly. Whilst you would never rock up in sandals and ripped jeans, it does not mean that a suit has to be a prerequisite.The general rule of thumb is to dress appropriately. Interviewing at a five-star hotel will mean a suit is your best bet, but chef jobs will not require you to pop on a tie, so smart-casual will be acceptable here.

You should also consider what you say and your body language. Be calm and relaxed, but at the same time do not start calling the interviewer your 'mate' or making inappropriate jokes. Similarly, never criticise former colleagues or bosses; this will never do you any favours.

4. It's all physical

How you present yourself is key to succeeding in an interview. You should make good eye contact with the interviewer so that they can make a good connection with you whilst also learning to trust you. However, staring at them too much will only make them feel uneasy, and probably a bit creeped out. The same rule applies for smiles, as it reveals enthusiasm, but too much may come across as though you need to be admitted to a psych ward.

5. Questions please

Asking questions is always a sign that you are eager and enthusiastic about the position. Simultaneously, try and not go overboard with questions about benefits, pay and holiday allowances.

If your fellow competitors make the above mistakes, you may have a shot at nabbing those hospitality jobs. The next thing you should then be worried about is what to wear on your first day of work.

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

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