Top 10 Most Common Interview Mistakes

8 years ago

Everyone knows what you should do at interviews but the question is what Interviewshouldn’t you do?  Here are the most common job interview mistakes, faux pas and errors a candidate going for an interview can make.

1. Inappropriately dressed – regardless of the size or grandeur of the company, it’s imperative to wear appropriate smart attire and look professional as first impressions count and last.  Never wear jeans or ‘casual’ clothing just because it’s a ‘small’ company.

2. Arriving late – running late can suggest bad time management and also a lack of respect for the company and interviewer.  Set off from home at least 15 minutes earlier than you need to in case of bad traffic or an accident that could potentially hold you up. 

3. Taking a drink in with you – whatever you do, do not enter an interview with a coffee or drink of any description.  This is unprofessional and distracting for both you and your interviewer and the last thing you’d want would be to spill it on the desk or worst case scenario, the interviewer! 

4. Using your mobile during the interview – ensure you put your phone on silent before entering your interview.  Looking at your phone or even worse texting shows the interviewer that this job is not your top priority and is rude and disruptive.  Put your phone in your bag or pocket to stop the temptation of checking.  If your phone rings or beeps ignore it.

5. Not knowing anything about the Company – you should never attend an interview without having done some research about the Company, locations, mission statements, personnel etc.  All this information will be available on the Company’s website – all you need to do is look!  It could also be beneficial to check the company’s LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages if they have one.

6. Incorrect or vague CV facts – remember to review your CV prior to an interview.  Make sure you remember dates of previous employment, graduation dates (if applicable) and employer contact information.  Understandably, some of your older experiences may be hard to recall – make sure you review the key points before your interview.   You should never put misleading information on your CV – sticking to the facts and being honest will make it easier to discuss your past experiences.

7Not paying attention – make sure you have a good night’s sleep prior to the interview so you’re bright and alert.  Don’t get distracted as you may misunderstand questions asked.  Always maintain eye contact and lean forward slightly – this should help you to stay focused and engage with the interviewer.

8. Talking too much – there is nothing worse than listening to someone’s life story at an interview.  Whatever happens, keep your answers succinct, to-the-point and focused – simply answer the question and don’t waffle.  Unless the interviewer specifically asks a question about your family, don’t get sidetracked talking about your partner, children or pets!  Remember that an interview is a professional meeting and should remain that way throughout.

9. Not prepared for questions – don’t be caught off guard – prepare for your interview.  Your interviewer will probably delve into your previous work experience in more depth than on your CV.  Make sure you can reel off a list of tasks along with more detailed definitions.  Remember your interviewer is seeking to find out if you’re suitable for the role.  In addition, ensure you ask questions – this also shows you’ve done a bit of research about the company and you’ve been listening to what’s been said during the interview.

10. Badmouthing previous employers – don’t make the mistake of badmouthing your boss or colleagues – you never know if the interviewer knows any of them as it’s a small world out there.  The interviewer wants you to demonstrate that you can work well and get along with colleagues and if a conflict occurred, you could handle it in a mature and professional manner without name calling.

Mistakes like these are easy to make subconsciously and many of them are extremely common.  Take the time to prepare before your interview, so you don’t have to worry about the fallout after it!

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