10 aviation interview mistakes you can avoid

Aviation interviews are tough for pretty much every candidate.  No matter whether you’re a veteran interview-goer, a complete interview virgin or someone who hasn’t been to a job interview in years, there are things you can avoid to make sure you don’t make a real interview ‘howler’ that’ll leave your potential employer running for the hills.  Here are 10 of them:

  1. Being unprepared. Making sure you’re prepared for any interview goes without saying, but like most things in life, there’s preparation and there’s preparation.  If you’re really serious about your interview success, you need to think not only about whether or not your outfit is dry cleaned and your shoes polished, but you also need to make sure that your performance is up to intense scrutiny too.  Before the interview, make sure you know all the claims you’ve made in your CV by heart; that you know why you’re the best person for the job and that you have a good feel for the position and culture of the company. 

  2. Being late.  In order to avoid this virtually unforgivable mistake, it’s essential that you work out how long your journey will take (worst case scenario) and reserve a fund on the day that’ll allow you the luxury of a taxi if you need it.  A great way of being sure that you won’t be late is making a practice run before the real event; if this is at all possible, invest the time to do it.  That way you can be really confident about your timing.

  3. Not dressing appropriately. Dressing appropriately in 2015 is more complicated than it was even a few years ago.  Over-dressing today can cause you (almost) as much of an issue as under-dressing.  So, if you’re unsure about how to dress for your interview, ask for advice amongst your network or simply snoop around the workplace at lunchtime or clocking off time. 

  4. Bending the truth. It’s quite simple really; lying can get you into a whole lot of trouble, whether it’s pre, during or post interview; so simply don’t even be tempted to do it.  While you might choose to ‘fail to state’ a short employment gap in your CV in order to avoid conflict, lying about dates or exaggerating achievements is never a good idea and will get you into a whole lot of hot water you might struggle to get out of.

  5. Being down on your current employer or colleagues. Even if you’re at the stage where you can’t wait to get out of your current job, a big mistake a lot of inexperienced interviewees make is to criticise their current employer or their current colleagues.  Again, this is rarely a good strategy.  The aviation world is small and you never know who might know whom.  In short, your tales will give a bad impression and could get back to people quicker than you imagine.  What’s more, giving out about people can make you look like you might be tough to work with.

  6. Moaning. No matter whether you’re down on the election results, the weather, the economy or simply tired, an interview is no place for moaning.  When you’re at interview you need to be the most positive, glass half full person you can be.  In effect this is the time to be the one person in the world who sees opportunities all around them and refuses to see such thing as a problem.

    Sending out the wrong messages. Your body sends out messages even when your mouth is closed, so make sure your body language is reinforcing all the things you want to say.  Use the first few minutes to make an impact by engaging in eye contact to win hearts and minds, giving a firm handshake and making your presence felt.

  7. Leaving your phone on. This one’s simple: just don’t do it!

  8. Not asking any questions. Ahead of time, prepare some questions that demonstrate clearly the fact that you really understand the big picture of the job you’re being interviewed for and that you will add value to the organisation if selected. 

  9. Digging a hole for yourself. If you do make a blunder in interview, you should aim to quickly turn it around.  That said, don’t, whatever you do, spend a whole load of time digging a hole for yourself.  Make a sharp exit from your error and give yourself time to get your head back in gear for the next point.

If you’re on the lookout for an aviation job, why not upload your CV today to get headhunted by top airlines and aviation companies as well as receiving job alerts that tell you when new jobs that match your criteria are posted on our site? 

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