Here Are All The Mistakes Young British People Are Making In Job Interviews Right Now

At Business Insider’s London office we recently sifted through more than 100 job applications — and conducted 50 or more personal interviews — with people who want to write for our new UK site, launching later this year.

Go straight to the list of mistakes >

We were impressed with the calibre of the candidates. Everyone we saw was smart and accomplished, and each applicant seemed to “get” our all-digital, fast-paced, anti-boring way of handling business news.

But … the British are human, too. They make mistakes.

We don’t hold minor mistakes against people — in fact we hired some of the people who committed these flubs — but every faux pas we describe here comes from real-life job interviews.

Don't put your career 'objectives' at the top of your resume.

Young candidates pad their CVs with fluffy, cliched career goal statements.

Do not do this!

We just want to see a simple list of your education and work experiences, and maybe a list of other useful skills at the bottom.

Don't try to impress us with your off-the-wall creativity.

We're looking for people who seem reliable and trustworthy.

We're not looking for 'KeR-A-Zee!' weirdos who want to blow our minds.

One job application began, 'I am a chameleon...' It went downhill from there.

Do not send us a video resume.

We need resumes to be sent easily via email to other HR staff, and we may want to print them out so we can compare candidates side by side. Off-format CVs are useless for this.

Your best bet? LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is really important -- do not skip it.

We can't emphasise this enough: When you have to compare hundreds CVs, LinkedIn is really useful because it makes all candidates' resumes look the same -- and that makes it easier for us to figure out who is relevant and who isn't.

Plus, a simple LinkedIn URL in an email is a lot easier for us to deal with than a Word or PDF attachment.

Don't eat a sandwich during our meeting.

If you're discussing a potential job with an employer over 'coffee' then drink coffee (or tea).

Don't break out one of Starbucks' 'Sure As Eggs Is Eggs' sandwiches, it's distracting.

Don't be 'low-energy.'

Demonstrating the correct level of 'energy' during a job interview is a tough call: You want to demonstrate that you're a low-drama person but not a monosyllabic introvert; you're happy to be here but we you don't want you bouncing off the walls like a crazy person.

Overall: If we can see you're excited at the idea of working for us, we're more likely to get excited about the idea of giving you a job.

Don't make your CV three pages long when you have no experience.


Don't worry about your CV not looking full enough.

Less is more with resumes -- we only skim them for 30 seconds anyway.

Don't make us work to figure out what your job history is.

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