7 mistakes to avoid in job interviews

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(MoneyWatch) I wonder how many people practice their job interviews before going to them? If you have someone you trust, beg them to walk you through some of the typical questions you can anticipate. And then give them this list and make them stop you if you fall into any of these traps:

1. Don't oversell. Claiming you've done everything, seen everything and invented everything doesn't convince anyone. Be straight, honest and clear about how you've contributed to the organizations you have worked for.

2. Don't undersell. One reference to your great team is enough. Everyone appreciates that nobody achieves alone.

3. Don't assume everyone understands your past job titles. Explain nuts and bolts quickly and clearly.

4. Don't lie. This should go without saying but it's important. Many people lie in interviews unintentionally, because they get carried away. Even if you get the job, you'll be scared the whole time you do it. So don't lie. Ever.

5. Don't talk too much. Listen very carefully and, where relevant, ask questions that stem from what you've heard. Show interest but not desperation.

6. If you're working through a headhunter, remember they have a job to do too. Help them if you want them to help you. Recommend candidates if you can; generosity always makes you look good. Treat headhunters as partners even if (in truth) they aren't

7. Always rehearse. Sure you can walk through the interview in your head, but hearing how you sound out loud gives you a whole new perspective.

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    Margaret Heffernan has been CEO of five businesses in the United States and United Kingdom. A speaker and writer, her most recent book Willful Blindness was shortlisted for the Financial Times Best Business Book 2011. Visit her on www.MHeffernan.com.