Interviews aren’t exactly events that people enjoy. Unfortunately, interviews are just one of those things that are part and parcel of life – from job interviews to scholarship and grant eligibility, they all require an interview as a way to access the individual’s character, integrity and overall eligibility for whatever the individual is applying for.

We’ve put together a list of faux pas that everyone SHOULD AVOID making, and suggestions to better your chances at acing that interview!

  1. Looking like a poor cultural fit

Let’s put it this way – you’re looking real swanky in that fitted, custom three-piece suit, coif hair and perfectly scrubbed leather shoes. You’re making your way to a job interview that specialises in art and modern design – wait, what?

While you will most definitely fit, and look right at home in a corporate job interview, it may not necessarily work for a job that requires you to be a more informal setting.

So, instead of having that problem, it would be much better to do research and due diligence on the company you’re applying to. That way, the dress code would also be a little more appropriate for the place you’re planning to work at. If you feel that you might not fit well into a company’s culture, do decide for yourself if you really want to be there. Remember that a square can’t fit into a circular hole!

Remember that interviewers also appreciate honesty, candour and you being yourself, over people trying to over impress their interviewers.

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  1. You constantly interrupt the interviewer

No one likes getting interrupted a lot, and likewise, take this into consideration when you’re interviewing.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules to follow that will definitely stop you from interrupting, but there are a few things that you can remember if you feel like you would – remember to let them finish their sentences before you jump in!

This usually takes practice, so start practising with friends or with yourself in the mirror; after a while, the cadence of speech can be felt, and the pauses can usually be approximated. Keep practising for this one!

  1. You’re really, really, really needy.

No, this needy isn’t about relationships. This one would be how you look when going for an interview. Sure, we all need jobs for money, but you got to keep your cool.

Interviewers can tell the difference between someone who wants the job, and someone who desperately needs one for money. The moment the interviewer detects that you NEED one that badly, it might be the last time you hear from the company.

Perhaps the best way to prevent showing the level of neediness for the job, take a few deep breaths. Calm yourself – you won’t gain an advantage if you’re nervous, overly excited, or stressed out (see point 2 – it could lead to a poor interview session!)

A little practice goes a long way in helping you ace that interview. Do a few runs with friends or family, and ask for feedback and criticism to help you out!

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  1. You seem like the type who needs a lot of assistance

Nobody wants someone who needs a lot of hand-holding. This, however, is not to be confused with receiving feedback – in this case, it is almost a complete reliance on a supervisor or colleague to help you through the entire task.

While that is normal for fresh graduates, if a new hire is constantly in need of assistance, don’t be surprised if the interviewer places your resume at the bottom of the pile.

Instead of showing how trainable you are in terms of skills, why not already reflect your core competencies and flexibility up front during the interview? Many people in most companies are already busy and hard-pressed for the time without having a junior shadowing them. Show to your interviewer that you’re capable of learning on the job quickly, and you’d have a much higher chance of getting a follow-up or even a job offer!

  1. You give off the vibe of being a selfish candidate

Whats in it for me?”

That is perhaps one of the most common – and bad – things to mention or insinuate during an interview.

Interviewers in general hate people who are selfish – people who apply for the position only for the benefits they receive (i.e. pay, medical/dental benefits, company car etc.)

Yes, we do understand that you want to know what benefits will be extended to you!

But instead of asking such things up front, why not be interested first in what you’re able to do for the company? Interviewers like interviewees who bother putting the company and its people above themselves, and that already shows that you’re a great team player. Once you’re given an offer or a contract to work for them, then it would be much easier and less awkward to negotiate benefits for yourself. By then, the interviewer would already be very comfortable with you, and what you’re capable of.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, always, always, ALWAYS thank your interviewer genuinely.  Why? Remember that they are human too, and thanking your interviewer, regardless of whether you aced it or not, would show that you’re truly thankful for the time and opportunity to have been interviewed, and it reflects that you’re a graceful, courteous person.

Who knows, that very little bit might be the very reason the interviewer would call you back!

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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