One of the hardest aspects of job application success can be the sheer number of candidates going for a single position. And, the trickiest part is, a large amount of their experience and skillset will be pretty similar to yours. If you’re going against a crowd of people with broadly similar CVs and applications, the interview process becomes even more important. Thus, standing out from the crowd is a key factor in getting the job of your dreams. So here are generic job interview behaviours that will make you fade into the background and should therefore be avoided at all costs.

Not Asking Questions

While some view the interview process as more of an inquisition, it should be more like a conversation. Imagine a conversation where you didn’t ask the other person a single question. You’d look rude, preoccupied and disinterested. And asking the right questions in important, so try to get a feel for the company culture and how things work there. Not only will this help you stand out in an interviewer’s mind, but it’ll actually help you decide whether this is the sort of place you’d like to work. Take the opportunity to gather as much information as possible.

Seeming Overly Rehearsed

It’s absolutely natural to be nervous before a job interview. Rehearsing some good answers can seem like a great way to prepare. But if you seem like you’re just reading answers from a paper, rather than interacting with your interviewer, it can make you seem robotic and less personable. While knowing what points you want to hit is great, having sentences ready and waiting may end up making you seem less qualified for the job.

Using Random Buzzwords

If you study the job specification, you’ll likely see a few points that it’s clear the interviewer will want you to hit. But simply repeating what you think they want to hear may actually work to your disadvantage. Instead, it’s a much better idea to demonstrate how your experience and skillset fit in with the ideal candidate you’re looking for. Tossing out “great team player” with no evidence to back it up is an immediate no-no.

Not Realising What Makes You Different

A sure-fire way to not be remembered is to have no interesting or special aspect to your interview. Everyone has something which can help them to stand out from the crowd, so find out what yours is and play on it. Show the interviewer you’re a person, not just a candidate, and they’re much more likely to remember you.

Giving Stock Answers

Some job interview questions are pretty much a given – so not preparing brilliant and personal answers for them is only going to hold you back. Do some research on the company and know why it’s a perfect fit for you. Compose an honest (but not off-putting) list of your greatest weaknesses. Having impersonal answers to these questions will only serve to make your interview seem impersonal, too.

Annie Walton-Doyle writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.

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