The top five interview mistakes – have you made any of them?

Interviews can take place in any shape or form, but some of the most common mistakes are always the same. This means that you should not worry if you make one, as your competitors are most likely to follow suit, but try and avoid them if you can.

1. Ignorance

Probably the most common gaffe is having not done enough research about the job you are applying for and the wider company. An employer will have expected you to at least look at their website or read about the trade and potential competitors. And be sure that it is the right company that you are researching; you would be surprised at how many candidates make this blunder.

If you do not know what you are talking about, the worst thing to do is to lie. Don't claim skills, knowledge and experience that you do not have, because at one point in the future, you will be caught out for it.

2. Time

Being late for your interview is a big no-no, as it may suggest to the boss that you will be late for work too. Even if the employer understands why you are late, you will have cut into the time you have to truly shine. To avoid this, try and estimate how long it will take to get there. Use an online journey planner and then always add an extra ten minutes to be on the safe side. If you need to be there at 9am, aim for 8.45am. No one will penalise you for being early, but it will go down badly if you turn up late.

3. Negativity

If you are currently working for somewhere else, you will most likely be asked why you are leaving. It is important that you remain positive about your past experiences and not start slagging other businesses off. If there have been any negatives, be sure to turn them into a positive, and anyway, you never know who your recruiter may know. Within the hospitality industry, many companies know each other and it may reflect on you badly if you say detrimental things about your old boss.

4. Money

Whatever you do, never ask this question: "How much will I earn?" This will put many managers off and make them think that all you care about is the money. Employers want to see passion for the field and the opportunity to negotiate a pay will come once you have secured the position.

5. Politeness

Like with anyone, you want to be friendly with everyone you meet. If you are rude to the receptionist, for example, this may get back to the boss. However, balance this carefully because you do not want to be too formal. It is crucial you are relaxed, but not too relaxed, as calling the interviewee your 'mate' or by first name initially will just put them off.

By avoiding these big gaffes, your interview should be plain sailing.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you with your career in hospitality.