We all know that interviewing can be stressful, which can increase the likelihood of making a mistake. If you are worried that you may be making critical mistakes during your clerical interview, keep an eye out for these big errors.
Rambling About Your Exit from Your Last Job
Being asked why you left your last position, or why you are considering leaving your current one, is practically a guarantee during a clerical interview. Even if you know the question is coming, it can be an uncomfortable question to answer, especially if the reasons were not especially positive.
In cases where you become uncomfortable, you may tend to over-explain your exit. This inclination can come off as unprofessional, especially if it seems that you are fishing for a response to which the interviewer will respond favorably.
Instead of going into detail, aim to make your response concise. Additionally, be honest about your reasons, but make sure the tone remains professional. It is generally frowned upon to speak poorly of your previous employer. Instead of saying something negative about the previous situation, spin it into a positive that you are looking to gain through a new position. For example, if training options were limited with your previous employer, you can reframe that by stating you are interested in pursuing opportunities that come with additional training, and educational options for career advancement.
Overselling or Underselling Your Capabilities
While it is expected that you will discuss various accomplishments and triumphs from your previous work, there is a fine line between sharing the information and bragging. It is important to avoid coming off as arrogant or pushy, especially in cases where you are interviewing with your prospective supervisor. This may make them concerned that you are difficult to work with and that you are of the attitude that you know better than those you work under.
In contrast, belittling your own accomplishments will not reflect favorably on you, either. If your resume or application mentions a notable accomplishment, and the interview expresses interest in the project’s result, do not downplay your contribution. Even if you worked as part of a team, it is important to demonstrate that you know your efforts were valuable to the success of the project as this shows that you are confident about how your contributions can benefit the group.
In order to make the best impression, it is important to present information about your skills and abilities in a practical and factual manner, while maintaining a professional demeanor.
Failing to Ask Questions
The vast majority of interviews end with the opportunity to ask the interviewer any questions you may have about the work, position, or the company. Failing to ask anything can make you seem disinterested. Instead of letting this opportunity pass by, consider it a chance to step into the role of an interviewer. You can ask questions about why the interviewer enjoys working for the company, if there are any large changes in the businesses near future, or if there are any particular goals for the position you are interviewing for that may have gone unsaid until now.
This is also an opportunity to make sure the interviewer feels they have the necessary information to make a determination about hiring you. For example, ending an interview by asking if there is anything that would prevent you from being seen as the top candidate for the position gives you a chance to hear any concerns the interviewer may have, and provides you with an opening to put those concerns to rest.