You’ve applied for a new health and safety role, your potential new employer was impressed by your CV, and your consultant has got you through the door. On paper, you have all the right skills for a health and safety professional. It seems you’re a great fit.
It’s good news: you’re on the shortlist, and you’ve been invited for an interview.
But now it’s up to you to showcase your skills, abilities and enthusiasm for the job.
First impressions are everything; 33% of bosses know within 90 seconds whether they will hire a candidate. Yet this stage is a big hurdle. Often it’s just that there’s a more qualified candidate, but sometimes a mistake can ruin your chances of landing the role.
Here are five mistakes that are easily avoided with a little preparation and practice. Refrain from making these to give yourself the best chance of interview success.
1. Failing to Research the Company
Not knowing what the company or business you’re interviewing at actually does is a big error. In fact, 47% of interviewees wouldn’t offer a role to a candidate with little knowledge of the company.
Before your interview, research the company and get a grasp of its history and culture. Also, look at topical news around the business and its staff. Large companies, in particular, are frequently mentioned in the news.
For example, if you were heading to Amazon for an interview for a health and safety role, you could cite the coverage of staff injury and fatigue during Prime Day, and come prepared with some suggestions to improve the situation next year.
Finally, don’t forget to read up on the hiring manager; they may well be an influential name in the health and safety industry.
2. Talking Too Much (Or Too Little)
The interview is your chance to sell yourself, but don’t be a motormouth in an interview. Keep your answers to their questions succinct and to the point, and only go into additional detail if asked.
On the flipside, awkward silences can also sound a death knell for your chances of getting hired. If you come up blank when asked a question, don’t be afraid to ask for a moment to compose yourself or to come back to the question later in the interview.
3. Failing to Practice
It might feel strange, but practising an interview out loud can be a good way to feel more relaxed in the real thing.
Take part in a mock interview with a friend or family member; get them to ask you common questions and rehearse your responses so you know how you’ll answer on the day.
If you’re interviewing for a role through Shirley Parsons, why not ask your consultant for some extra advice or even a practice interview?
They’re experts and have successfully coached many candidates to bag their dream roles, so use their expertise to your advantage.
4. Exaggerating or Inflating the Truth
Many of us have been there; panic sets in as an interviewer asks about something you’re not experienced in or proficient at. You don’t want to appear unqualified or weak, so you conjure up a little white lie:
“Yes, I can do that”.
If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In a study, 81% of people lied about themselves in an interview.
Tempting though it may be, try to avoid exaggerating or inflating the truth, as it can only come back to haunt you later on - sometimes after you’ve been offered and started the job!
5. Playing Hard to Get or Being Negative
You want to make the employer believe you’re too good to ignore. But playing hard to get may backfire in an interview.
By all means, negotiate salary and package details in the event of a job offer afterwards, but try not to do yourself out of the job altogether at the interview by being difficult or over-confident.
Also, show positivity in your interview; even if you feel it’s going badly, a positive attitude can show the potential employer that you have enough resolve to work in challenging scenarios.
Is it Time to Put These Tips Into Practice?
If you’re looking for a new health and safety role, our consultants at Shirley Parsons can help you prepare effectively and avoid these mistakes at your next interview.