15 Interview Mistakes to Avoid

Written by: Mike Wood, Portal Business Manager & Editor, PharmiWeb.com
Published on: 2 Feb 2019

Lack of Preparation
It’s a good idea to research the company you are going to see. The Pharma industry is easy to research, so failing to know at least the background of their products or services can make you look disinterested. Having a basic knowledge of the company's news or latest products will help put you at ease. 

You also need to know how your skills will fit in, and how they will benefit the organisation.

Not Researching the Interviewer
It's worth researching the person or people doing the interview. What are their roles and backgrounds? You may even find that you have shared interests, or common contacts - which might give you a talking point.

Being Late
This is so obvious, but often not taken seriously. If you arrive late, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t get the job - regardless of how good you are!

Equally, don't be too early. You do need to arrive in plenty of time, however, wait until 5-10 minutes before your allotted time. If you arrive 30 minutes early and present yourself, you might throw the interviewer off guard, which in turn will put you at a disadvantage.

Looking at Your Phone
I'm sure you can go for 60 minutes without looking at your phone. So, switch it off before the interview. 

Not Being Prepared to Take Notes
Take a pen and notepad and make notes (and refer to your notes!) - it shows that you're interested!

Criticising Past (or current) Employers
Please don't criticise your boss, employer or colleagues, it will make you come across as negative, or hard to work with.

Dressing Incorrectly 
Although the dress code at work is becoming less formal over time, interview dress code is different. Find out about the organisation and how formal they are, but if in doubt, dress somewhere between smart-casual & smart.

Being Too Personal
The chances are you've only just met, so keep the conversation light and pleasant and focus on how you can help the organisation. No stories about how many drinks you had last night or any other such activities.

Talking About Salary First
Never bring up the question of salary unless they do first. Jumping in and asking about salary (or holidays/benefits) before they do, will make you seem very mercenary. 

Not Being Honest
Lying during an interview is a big no-no. Even if you think you got away with it, it will catch up with you at some point. 

Not Selling Yourself
The interview is your opportunity to blow your own trumpet. However, it's not just about you, and you need to consider the interview from their perspective - The interviewer wants to hear about the relevant things you've done, and how you would help their organisation. So, keep everything in that context.

Not Asking Questions
It's a good idea to ask questions throughout the interview, but when that inevitable "do you have any more questions" comes, make sure you have one or two up your sleeve. Failing to ask questions at all, will make you appear disinterested.

Being Long-Winded or Waffling
Answer questions succinctly, if you feel yourself waffling (maybe because of nerves) pull back. Communication skills are vital to most jobs in the Pharma industry, so if it's something that you tend to do, work on some control strategies. 

Being Desperate
Don't come over as desperate with "sob stories" or details of your personal issues. Just be keen and enthusiastic.

Not Knowing the Next Steps
If the interviewer hasn't already mentioned what happens next, you need to ask.