Thursday, 26 July 2012


A job interview can be nerve racking and quite demanding. But that is not an excuse for candidates to jinx the interview by their own simple mistakes. Interestingly, according to HR managers, it’s the simple, basic stuff that rule you out of a job, not your papers and qualifications.

HR managers list the following 10 most common mistakes graduates make during interviews:

Mary Murigah, HR Manager, Capital Group

1. A phone call in between with some crazy ring tone

2. Memorised answers to general interview questions

3. Inability to talk about one self

4. Looking completely detached from the interview

5. Lack of doing proper research on the company and industry you wish to work for and its operations

6. Inability to ask questions

7. Lack of goals i.e when asked for goals for the next 5 years, he/she ends up with aaaammhhh still trying to figure out or I’m not sure or says something that completely doesn’t make sense

8. Lack of knowledge on anything about the job you have applied for.

9. Mixing languages e.g how did you deal with peer pressure at campus? Saa unajua campo is proper hustling…………bla  bla bla

10. Being too talkative whilst being repetitive…

11. Carrying a completely disorganised folder to an interview, one with brown torn envelopes and completely disorganised paper work…..

12. Untidy look

Florence Nyokabi, Director – Human Resources and Administration, KPMG

1. Inappropriate dress (displays sloppiness and a potential challenge in cultural fit within the organization)

2. Lateness for the interview (displays a lack of seriousness/commitment)

3. Overly casual:  use of inappropriate language – slang, sheng etc (displays a lack of seriousness)

4. Long-winded explanations: lack of concise/precision in their responses OR closed-ended responses without adequate explanation (displays lack of clarity in thought)

5. Incongruence between what the applicant writes on their CV and what they say during the interview discussion (displays a lack of integrity)

6. Lacking in passion/energy/drive – not able to demonstrate the fire-in-the-belly or zeal to work in the role

7. Making demands in the first interview:  eg:  I expect a salary of x, to work strictly 8 hours a day, … etc (demonstrates strong self-interest)

8. Lack of understanding the organization’s business and the candidate’s fit in the organization (demonstrates lack of preparation)

9. Over-rehearsing:  cliché statements (displays a lack of credibility)

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