Graduates & Common "Wrong Doing" during Job Interview

Are you really well-prepared for a job interview? Are you excited enough whenever you receive a phone call from the recruiter and inviting for a job interview? or are you just coming for job interview, and it is just for fun?

I am writing this from my experience as a human resource practitioner or practically as an interviewer. Here are the common mistakes done by graduates when attending job interview session. 

Are you ready for INTERVIEW?

Late Arrival - Wrong Timing

Tips: Come 30 minutes early

This is very common problem. If your job interview is at 2.00pm, what time you should arrive? 2.00pm? wrong! You need to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier because during the time gaps, normally you need to fill up the forms and doing some other documentation things. You also need to give time for your interviewer to get ready too. So, you need to remember, 2.00pm is your interview, not your arrival time.

Job Application Form Incomplete 

Tips: Follow the instruction when filling up the Job Application Form

Some job-seekers normally very lazy to fill up the job application form. That is the reason why you need to come early and fill up the form at your convenience time. The reason you need to fill in your information carefully in the Job Application Form is for your employer's documentation purposes (online or manual). Don't forget to fill in your correct permanent address, emergency contacts and other information as this will be very important in case anything happen to you during working with the company.

Wrong Introduction

Tips: Create your "killer" statement about yourself

How are you going to introduce yourself? This is no more university or classroom introduction. As an interviewer, I prefer to hear a creative and compact introduction. We don't want to hear the detail history of yourself, but we are giving the first impression and thought from the first few lines come out from your mouth. So, all you need to do is create some killing lines to introduce yourself and speak out confidently

What do you Know About your Future Employer?

Tips: Summary the story about your future employer instead of doing a story telling

This is a very common question and you need to know why they ask such question. In a glance, they want to know if you study about the company background. It is depends on the position that you apply as well. Technical position will need you to study more about the technical parts of the company as well. 

Don't give a silly answer. Example, "What is AEON?' and you answered, "AEON is a retail company!" and.... we as interviewer want to know more about your understanding of the company.  Its happened that I met many job seekers who can blow the whole history of the company, and for your information, we (recruiter) understand our company background more than you. With this in mind, you are advisable to tell us your understanding or point of view instead of be a story teller.

Errrr... Can I speak Malay

Tips: Speak English, or at least practice if your English is not fluent before attending any interview session

I am sorry dear, most of multinational companies will required you to converse in English during job interview session. This is the lacking during especially among Malay candidates. Doesn't matter your future working environment will be in Malay or English medium, the interview session need to be in English. You also need to know that, contract, emails, invoices or other work related things in the office will be in English too. So, weak candidates who can't converse well in English should think wisely before accepting any job interview invitation. 

Watch Out on Your Attire

Tips: Dress to Impress

Dress to impress. Here I will highlight some examples. If you are a guy, and applying for an executive position, shirt and black pant is one of the best attire to wear. Don't forget the neck tie, and not really necessary to have a tie clip (it can make you look messy). In Malaysia, wearing black suit for attending job interview is not really necessary. Best colour for men should white, light blue or other light earth colour shirt. Please, avoid striking colours or you will strike our "your interviewer's" eyes. 

As for women, corporate look is always the best. Shirt, black or dark brown suit and matching pant is will make you look clean and ready for the job interview. But how about Malay/Muslim women? What can you wear? Wee, nothing wrong if you want to wear Baju Kurung. But, please make sure the design or colour is simple and cooling. I understand that Malay Baju Kurung normally very fancy with flowers and unique design. But for job interview, less is more. Sometimes, my Malay (women) candidates forgot to apply some make up on their face. As a result, they look pale (plus the effect from their nervous feeling) and not really presentable. Again, for Malay ladies, please give more attention on how are you going to present yourself in the interview room.

Don't know How to Answer a Question, then What to Do?

Tips: Be smart & think quicky 

Sometimes, it can happened that you don't know to answer some technical or fact-related question by your interviewer. I did that too, and some candidates are really blank and will answer with this "zero mark answer", "I don't know". 

Let think a smarter answer. As for me, you can answer that kind of question as follow, "I am sorry, I suppose to know about this. But let me check it and I will come back to you with the answer". So, the way of accepting and apologizing for not knowing the answer will show that you are professional in handling difficulties.

Body Positioning

Tips: Mirror-ing your interviewer

Do you know that we may judge your characteristic from the way you sit. In some formal interview session, the interview sometimes will place your chair slightly far from the table. This situation can make you feel uncomfortable to be seen. The best way is, put your both hand on the side of the chair and never do any unnecessary move. Optionally, why don't you be the mirror of the interviewer? This is the best way to overcome the awkwardness between you and the interviewer by creating a body language connection with them. In a way, you will create some comfortablity for yourself and also convincing the interviewer.

For more questions of tips, feel free to email me at (English or Malay). I hope I could help job seekers out there can excel their best when attending job interview and get hired. 


  1. Hi. I have a question. is it ok if i wearing baju kurung for receptionist job interview? I got interview tomorrow. hope u reply me a.s.a.p. thanks.

    1. Depends on the company:

      If its Malay company, you can wear Baju Kurung, blue or earth colour is always good option.

      If its a non-bumi company, you should be more fashionable.

      You can call me at 016-3451412 for some ideas about what to wear.

  2. How about company like Prudential and it was interview for HR & admin officer position? Is it ok to wear a baju kurung?

    1. This is an interesting question.

      I don't say no to Baju Kurung. It is our national cloth anyway. But i saw that many of our people wrongly choose a baju kurung to go for interview session.

      Some people didn't get use with blouse and pant as a formal work attire (perhaps because of personal principal of wearing a Baju Kurung for working). As for big companies such as Prudential or banking, it is better for you to check with your recruiter about the dress code for the company. Nothing wrong to ask rather than u make mistake.

      IDEA: How about wearing a Baju Kurung, and cover with Blazer and put your Scarf into the blazer. So, its look smart and make sure the blazer is in your size, or else people will think that you are borrowing it from somebody. Make sure you wear a cover shoes matching with your minimalis/simple style handbag to compliment your style.

      What do you think about it?


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