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By Audrey Korir

Yes! You’ve made it through the employer’s screening list of countless potential candidates, you have received the much awaited phone call and finally the interview has been scheduled. You obviously want to nail it, so you’re running through your checklist of the things you need to do to get ready.

However, it is equally as important to remember to intentionally avoid these 5 common mistakes that would potentially cost you your dream job. The brightest, most promising candidates occasionally flub this key part of the process on the big day but below is your guide so that you do not fall victim to a similar fate.

Unlike regular interactions the interview process is one that the interviewee voluntarily subjects his or herself to imperiled judgment. The employer out rightly puts to scale every word you say and to his or her own discretion weighs your suitability for the vacant job position. Their assumptions of you from this interaction topped up by the aptness of your credentials ultimately determine the success of the interview.

Think of all the other candidates who applied for the same job, do you want to give the interviewer a reason to reject your candidacy?

With all that in mind, avoid making these 5 statements;

1. “Sorry I’m Late”

Find a way to be on time for your interview.

Arriving late raises questions, the employer may wonder, “If you are late while asking for the job, how early will you be once you are hired?”

Ms. Carolyne Kariuki, a Senior Recruiter from Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR Firm in Nairobi, says that this can make the employer disqualify you even before the interview.

“You cannot always expect the panelist/employer to be understanding, just because you apologized for being late. It already paints a bad picture. Giving generic excuses like traffic or getting lost is likewise not an exception”, she adds.

2. “How much will you pay me?”

Don’t be the first to bring up salary, it’s presumptuous.

Mentioning pay can send a wrong message that all you are after is money, a grave mistake you want to avoid during your first interview.

Salary negotiations will follow later once the employer determines that you are the perfect fit for the job.

3. “I’m a perfectionist”

You have probably come across certain articles, advising you to say this during an interview as a way of camouflaging your weaknesses.

I’m here to tell you that this may not work in your favor.

Employers want candidates who are honest and direct. If you can’t be transparent about yourself, then why should they hire you?

Prepare truthful answers to common interview questions and explain what you’re doing to work on your weaknesses.

QUICK READ >>> How To Answer: “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”

4. “My previous employer was the worst”

Your last boss was awful, you disliked them and that probably made you hate the job as well.

Regardless of how truthful it sounds to you, it’s best to refrain from talking negatively about your previous employer to your potential new employer.

According to Ms. Cynthia Wangechi, a HR Expert at Corporate Staffing Services most employers are less likely to believe your side of the story.

“The employer will probably assume that you have a bad attitude and are generally difficult to work with”, says Cynthia.

5. “I don’t have any questions for you”

You should!

It shows that you are interested in the job and company. Saying “No” makes you look lazy and uninterested. You must ask questions.

ALSO READ >>> 5 Great Ways To Answer ”Do You Have Any Questions For Me?”


Preparation is everything!  Not just the questions but the answers as well. Think through them and how you want your employer to perceive every response you give.

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