Underprepared Brits brag their way out of job prospects

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The FINANCIAL — New research reveals the top ten most common interview faux pas, which include showing off, not asking questions, dressing inappropriately and moaning about a current employer.

The age old saying ‘fail to prepare then prepare to fail’ rings true, with 51 per cent of employers citing that lack of research is the biggest blunder candidates make

64 per cent of unemployed young people say they would benefit from job interview training

LifeSkills offers advice and guidance to help people succeed in interviews by addressing the pressure points where interviewees often fall short

As the country braces itself for the gruelling interview episode of The Apprentice, new research from LifeSkills created by Barclays reveals that when it comes to being in the hot seat in real life, many Brits rely on their charm instead of research, and it could cost them their dream job.

The survey of 500 interviewers reveals the top ten most common interview mistakes, highlighting that UK candidates are often underprepared and may be overcompensating in other areas to impress. The most common errors are failure to do research prior to the job interview (51 per cent), showing off (31 per cent), not acting interested or engaging with the interviewer (30 per cent), and asking no questions at all (30 per cent).

Top 10 Most Common Interview Mistakes:

Failing to do their research
Showing off
Asking no questions
Not acting interested or engaged with the interviewer
Making up answers
Lying about achievements
Not dressing appropriately
Rambling on
Failing to explain what they will bring to the role
Moaning about their current employer

When it comes to the mistakes most likely to cost a candidate their dream career, 12 per cent of employers said they found forgetting your manners to be the most off-putting behaviour. Meanwhile, candidates who acted interested and engaged during interviews were deemed to be the best (48 per cent), whilst those who appeared genuine about themselves were favoured more highly (37 per cent).

In the head-to-head group interview scenario, dominating the conversation and not listening to others ranked among the top errors, coming in at 44 and 48 per cent respectively. Being too quiet or not contributing enough was also prevalent with 45 per cent of employers often witnessing this in group interviews. In contrast, in the typical one-on-one interview setting only a small number (6 per cent) said that being too modest would dampen a prospective candidate’s chances.

Research from LifeSkills highlights that a quarter (25 per cent) of unemployed young people feel that they perform badly in interviews, and almost two-thirds (64 per cent) think that they would benefit from job interview training.

Solomon Akhtar, the youngest ever contestant on The Apprentice, who had a particularly gruelling interview on last year’s show, said: “I learnt the hard way in my Apprentice interview that it’s so important to be prepared in order to succeed. It was clear that I hadn’t put enough thought into my business plan and wrongly believed that my confidence and charm would win Claude over. Even though it didn’t go to plan, I am really grateful for the experience; I learnt a lot from it and will definitely never turn up under prepared for an interview again.”

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills, created by Barclays, added: “No matter how old or experienced you are, it’s invaluable to know how to properly prepare for and behave in interviews. As the research reflects, over half of employers (51 per cent) say that failure to prepare is the most common mistake candidates make. At LifeSkills, we understand that interview techniques don’t come naturally to everyone, which is why we offer a range of tips and advice to help young people know what to expect in interviews, and to be as prepared as possible.”

LifeSkills provides a range of tips to help people succeed in interviews by addressing pressure points where interviewees often fall short. Content includes advice on what to wear, how to research a business, ask questions to impress employers, and even how to utilise hobbies and interests to make yourself more appealing to an employer. Users can participate in a mock interview online, allowing them to bring together everything they have learnt and discover the top tips that will help them get that job.


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