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  • Peter Viljoen

6 Rookie Interview Mistakes to avoid

Not thousands, millions of people are unemployed. Millions. That means there is a long que of people right behind you to fill this vacancy. At Sydsen Recruit we want our candidates to be successful, so all you newbies and interns, herewith a few tips on avoiding rookie interview mistakes.


1. Know where you are going:

Generally, in life, you should know where you’re going but for the purpose of this part of the article, I’m talking physical address. Yes. The address. Know where you should be. Interviews are stressful enough so do not just get in a taxi and head in the general direction - make sure you know exactly where you should be.


2. Be on time:

Having said that - plan your route and your timing. There is nothing that screams “unreliable and shortsighted” like being late. Being late is defined as 1 minute after the agreed time. In fact, if you want to create a good impression be 5 to 10 minutes early. It is a fine line because anything earlier than that, seems desperate. So, finetune your planning.

3. Know who you are seeing:

Make sure to know the person the interview is with. It seems so obvious but people have arrived at our office or at a dealership and did not know who they are seeing. Attention to detail. This is a low hanging fruit. Do not make this rookie mistake.


4. Don’t mumble.

Speak up and speak clearly and loud enough for the whole interview team to hear you. If you’re trying to appear demure or sweet, it’s not going to come off as cute. Articulate. Be mindful of your speaking rate. If you tend to speak quickly when you’re nervous, practice until you’re comfortable and it sounds natural. Think for a few seconds before answering questions, there’s no rush to answer and you’ll actually look more thoughtful doing so.


5. Don’t be shy.

Shake hands like you mean it and smile while you’re doing it. You’re a professional, and not on a date. Avoid the annoying wet noodle handshakes or pretty princess greetings. Practice this with a friend. Firm, but not aggressive. You CAN be confident without appearing like a know-it-all or being overly-friendly and telling everyone about what you ate for breakfast on your last vacation. Remember, you want this job, and you want the interview team to know it, so act like it. With that being said, if you know someone in the dealership or automotive trade or even on the Dealer Principal, do not, in any circumstance, act like you “have the job” simply because of your “connections.” That sort of behavior will most certainly come across as incredibly unprofessional and smug and can cost you the job.


6. Be authentic

Be yourself. You are good enough. Whether you get the appointment or not. People are tuned into authenticity and pretending to anything or anyone other than just you, will create the impression that something is “off” and an experienced interviewer will pick up on it, not say anything about it and let the opportunity pass you by.

Armed with these few good tips, you have nothing to fear if you are new to the interview scene.


Good luck and never give up!



Sydsen Regards

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