4 Major Mistakes To Avoid In Interview

A cautionary tale for newcomers to recruitment


Alice Cryne

So you really want to be a Recruiter?

Unfortunately gaining those all important interviews is only the first stage.

Now you’ve been given that all-important interview, it's imperative that you have the right interview strategy.

Unfortunately, newcomers to recruitment can blow their chance at securing an offer with a great firm within the first few minutes of an interview!

So take our advice and avoid the most common mistakes you can make when you interview as a Graduate or Trainee Recruiter.


Showing up late gives the firm a negative view of you as a potential employee, it's possibly one of the worst mistakes you can make and completely sets the interview off in the wrong direction. To you it may be a delay on the Tube, but to them it suggests a lack of respect for their time and a lack of planning. So plan ahead, check your route, look up their address and building and prepare.

TIP: Wherever possible aim to arrive 15-20 minutes early that way you always have a contingency.


Whether we agree with it or not, as humans we judge other people instantly. The general consensus is that you make your first impression in the first 7 seconds of meeting someone. What happens in that time? You look at each other and you make assumptions. So if you really care about impression that makes people warm to you then you need to dress appropriately. An interview is a chance for an employer to consider whether you would fit in with their team so what you wear is largely judged by how their existing staff dress. If you don't like it and wouldn't want to dress that smartly or casually then don't interview there. But if you want to impress then follow their lead and if in doubt dress smart i.e. A fresh, pressed, business suit or separates with a smart blouse/shirt and jacket.

TIP: Check out the company Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts - how does everyone seem to dress? You can also just ask. Ask the person arranging your interview what the company dress code is - they will tell you! 


After the first 7 seconds assessing whether you look the part, you'll swiftly have to introduce yourself and shake your interviewers hand. They want a firm handshake, eye contact and a smile as you introduce yourself. You are interviewing for a job where you will eventually be meeting lots of candidates and clients a confident introduction is essential so no mumbling, looking at the floor, limp fish clammy handed handshake!! You've been warned.

TIP: Firm handshake doesn't mean crushing someone's hand either! 


More than anything your new employer is looking for a great attitude. Someone positive and upbeat that is resilient to problems and challenges. If, during your interview, you fall into trap of moaning about your last employer or boss you will be making a fatal error. 

TIP: Find a way to put a positive spin on something. For example instead of saying you don't like your current boss because they never have time to explain anything and snap when you get things wrong, say you'd love to expand your skills by working for a Manager that a little more time to coach you and can offer feedback on how to keep improving.



At some point in the interview you will be asked what you know about the company you are meeting with. Many Graduates & Trainees will fall into the trap of saying "not much I was hoping you would tell me" from fear of saying the wrong thing. Your interview doesn't care if your information isn't totally accurate they simply want to see that you care, that you have spent time researching and most importantly you're not just mindlessly interviewing for anything... that you want THE job not A job.

TIP: Research and establish 3 - 5 key facts about the company. Make a few notes on your CV or on a notepad that you take with you but if you can avoid looking at your notes. Great stats are when the company formed, what they specialise in, how big they are now and an award or accolade they are proud of (most companies have at least 1!)


I hope you have found this helpful and I wish you every success with your interviews.

If you'd like greater coaching ahead of interviews with the best companies in recruitment then contact me for your FREE initial assessment and if I think I can help I can turn around interviews and coaching within just a couple of days.




Alice 2

Alice Cryne is part of our Graduate & Trainee team and works with recent Graduates and experienced sales professionals to help them gain their first job in recruitment.

You can contact Alice on 0203 915 4774 or alice@recruiterrepublic.com