Diverse talent solutions. African Partnerships you can depend on.

Do you blow your chances of getting a job by making these basic interview mistakes?

If they want you, they’ll see your potential. Just rock up for the interview. You’ll be fine…

This attitude alone is probably enough to wreck any chance of landing a top job, but just to be sure, you can always adopt some of the self-destructive behaviours known to kill a candidate’s interview prospects.

You can…

1. Turn up late. Blame the traffic or bad-mouth the location, especially if it’s at the hiring company’s head office.

2. Fail to prepare. Don’t even check the corporate website. Ensure the interview panel know you have done no ‘homework’ by confusing the recruiting company with a competitor or by asking questions that display ignorance of the company and its industry.

3. Dress to fail. Jeans, scruffy shoes and an open-neck shirt should do it, or perhaps high heels, a revealing top and a micro-mini.

4. Display self-interest. At the first possible moment ask about pay and perks. Then ask about how much paid leave you can expect.

"Even senior people scupper their chances through crass errors like these.  They are looking for seven-figure salaries and might be experienced personnel in their 40s or 50s, but still self-destruct"

If you really want the job, you avoid obvious pitfalls. The biggest key is proper preparation
Research the recruiting company (inside out)

Read its financial statements and annual reports. Make sure you know the names of the CEO, executive team and board members. Prep for the interview by driving the route to the venue ahead of time. This ensures you know the way, the traffic and the time commitment.

Know your CV backwards

Memorise key dates and bring along extra hard copies to ensure all panel members have your CV. Make sure all information is correct and up to date. Tell no lies!

Always display passion and a positive attitude to life in general and your career in particular

Infuse the panel with your energy. Dead fish do not get top jobs.

Share with the panel concrete, well-considered examples of strategic and operational achievements

Punt team efforts and give credit to peers and teams when reviewing career highlights. Be honest.

Ask questions that display an interest in the recruiting company, its industry and the position you are targeting

Strategic issues and corporate culture are favoured topics. Leave questions about pay and perks until later.

Show loyalty to current employers or at the very least display restraint and discretion

Put the focus on new opportunities rather than past disappointments.

Dress appropriately

To be safe, dress up, not down.

Show respect. Switch off that cell phone. This interview is more important than your dinner plans.

Always indicate that you take responsibility and make yourself accountable

It might be tempting to blame others when discussing career challenges, but leaders show resilience. They have ‘broad shoulders and turn problems into opportunities.

Do all this and you have a shot at that dream job.


Job, employers, CV backwards, Dress appropriately

  • Hits: 17992
Signium Africa

Diverse talent solutions.
African partnerships you
can depend on.


Head Office

23 Fricker Road,
Illovo, Sandton,
South Africa,

Satelite Office

Cape Town

Contact Details

Tel: +27 (0) 11 771 4800
Email: info@signium.co.za

Signium Africa (previously Talent Africa), a leading executive recruitment company based in South Africa offering head-hunting and leadership consulting services in sub-Saharan Africa. www.signium.co.za

covid 19 Cartmell 26f5e4bb