Common mistakes in job interviews: 16 simple ways to avoid them

October 29, 2021

Common mistakes in job interviews: 16 ways to help you avoid

Are you feeling nervous about your upcoming job interview?

Do you want to avoid the common mistakes that every person makes when interviewing for a new position?

There are many components to an interview, but the one that most people focus on is the job interview itself. This article will list some common mistakes in interviews and explain how you can avoid them!

Why are job interviews important?

A job interview is a meeting in which the employer and the applicant have a conversation about why they would be good together. It’s important to remember that this is more of an opportunity for you to impress the employer than it is for them to determine if you are a good fit.

It’s also important not to make any big mistakes during an interview, but there are often things that people don’t realize they’re doing that can be avoided.

Job interviews provide the opportunity for potential employers to get an inside look at your personality, skills, and abilities. The interview allows you to learn about the company that is interviewing you, and the company can learn about your skills.

Mistakes to avoid during a job interview

There are many mistakes people make during a job interview that can derail the conversation and prevent them from getting the job. However, there are some mistakes that you should avoid because they’re just too silly to make.

#1: Arriving late or too early

Arriving late for an interview is not only disrespectful to the interviewer but also shows poor time management skills. It’s important to be punctual and arrive on time or even early, especially in the current job market where first impressions matter a lot. Make sure that you plan and leave early so that there are no traffic delays on your way.

Arriving too early could be a mistake and make the interviewing firm feel obligated to entertain you. It is best to plan your day ahead of time with Google Maps before going on interviews.

#2: Dressing inappropriately

Dress to impress

Appearance is important for interviews. Interviewers will not care what brand of clothes you wear or how stylish you look, but they will judge your overall appearance. Avoid dressing informally for a job interview as this may signal to an interviewer that you are unprepared and unprofessional.

Not dressing appropriately is likely to make you stand out as the wrong candidate. If in doubt, dress up a bit and ask yourself if this looks appropriate for an interview.

#3: Neglecting hygiene

There are a lot of common mistakes that can be made during a job interview, such as neglecting personal hygiene and wearing wrinkled clothes. Dealing with your hair is also important to leave a good impression. It may seem like small things, but there is no need for you to worry about them because they often make the biggest difference in how successful your interview will be.

#4: Eating, drinking, or checking your phone during the interview

Eating or drinking during an interview is a sign of your lack of interest and respect towards the interviewer and company.

As absurd as it sounds, we’ve heard lots of stories about candidates taking out their phones during an interview and checking their messages in front of the hiring manager. It sends the message to employers that getting the job is not their top priority and it’s rude. Texting during interviews is also bad because it’s clear to hiring managers that the candidate does not want to be there. To avoid making these mistakes, candidates should resist checking their phones during interviews and focus on what they’re saying instead of how long they’ve been waiting for someone else to answer some questions.

#5: Too casual at greeting

First impressions are important when meeting new people, and you want your first impression to be a good one. Not making eye contact with the interviewer or being too casual in greeting them before they start asking questions is unforgivable.

If you go into an interview unprepared, it will show that you don’t care about the position and it also gives off bad vibes because your lack of preparation shows that you’re unorganized.

#6: Know nothing about the company you are interviewing with

The company you are interviewing with is the most important thing to know about before going in for an interview. You can learn everything from their mission statement to what positions they currently have available on their website. Researching the company and position before meeting someone also helps ensure that you come prepared and well-informed, which will ultimately make your job interview go more smoothly.

#7: Lying on your resume

Lying on your resume is a bad idea. It might seem tempting to embellish some of the bullet points on your resume, but it’s important to be honest about what you have done. Bullet points are eye-catching and truthful, so make sure that they are true. For a job interview, review the facts before you go in for an interview!

They should always be as descriptive with the information as possible and never “fudge” any facts. It is also important that they have an updated resume so it will stand out from other people’s in today’s competitive environment where thousands of resumes are typically submitted for each position.


#8: Talking too much

One of the most common mistakes in a job interview is talking too much. In order to avoid this, prepare your responses and be concise, to the point, and focus on answering the questions asked. Boring the interviewer with unnecessary information is also a common mistake. Talking too much

People sometimes have a whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth mindset when they are in interviews. Talking too much about personal matters, being late to the interview, and not asking questions can come back to bite you later on.

#9: Speaking negatively about past jobs

Badmouth your past employers, You will badmouth future employers too!!

A common mistake in interviews is to speak negatively about past jobs. Try to find something positive about your previous job and remember that you are not required to give too many details. Keep it classy by giving a positive and professional answer even if your boss was literally Satan dressed in cargo pants. Try to find something good about it, even if it has been a while since you have worked there.

#10: Lacking enthusiasm

A lack of enthusiasm in an interview is a common mistake. It communicates that the candidate is not interested in the job or company. An interviewer may think someone is not open to growth if they are not positive about their response. Interviewers will be more likely to hire someone who shares what they are working on and asks for feedback.

#11: Not asking questions

“When you’re asked if you have any questions – as you inevitably will be – it’s vital that you don’t just clam up,” says Ken Okumura.

It is best to ask questions that have a positive tone, focus on the interviewer’s work and company, not the interviewee. Turning some of your queries back onto them will be well-received by potential employers.

“Where’s the nearest gym?” is the worst possible question to ask.

Turn the question back on them: “It sounds like you’ve got some really exciting clients – what are your plans for developing them in the future / bringing on other clients in that sector?”

#12: Putting yourself first

Interviewers are looking for the perfect fit, so it is important to show them you have what they are looking for. You should not be overselling yourself or using subjective terms that will make you sound like a cliche. Many candidates grab any opportunity they can to compliment themselves during an interview.

Answer most questions as straight-to-the-point and objectively as you can.

Interviewers might be bored or sleepy, so avoid irrelevant personal information. Sometimes people have a whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth mindset in a job interview and spill their guts in answer to every question.

#13: Not waiting it out before bringing up salary terms

There are many mistakes that can happen during a job interview, like asking about salary too soon or not knowing enough about the company. It is unflattering to bring up salary and benefits right away. Wait until the interviewer asks you if they have any questions for them and bring up the salary only after you’ve exhausted all your other questions.

It is important to wait it out before you bring up salary terms. When negotiating a job offer, don’t mention money too early because people might turn the conversation off or be intimidated by it.

#14: Overlooking the “Biggest Weakness” Question

Not addressing their weaknesses and being insecure about them is yet another mistake to avoid. And so are the following

  • Not being clear about your goals
  • Focusing too much on weaknesses without addressing them in a way that makes you seem more human and less like an obstacle to others
  • Not trusting other people because they have let you down before, and being so focused on what can go wrong that you fail to think about how you’re going to accomplish your goal.

The key is establishing trust with everyone involved and gaining confidence in yourself.

#15: Not discussing further steps

Simply ask what your next steps would be if you got the job. Like,

  • What topics will the initial training be on for the job?
  • Do you have any expectations from me?
  • How long should I expect to hear back after my interview?

Asking about the next steps confirms confidence in the interview.

#16: Forgetting to follow up or following up too aggressively

Other mistakes in job interviews are that the person is not following up with their prospect and being too pushy. There are many ways to avoid these pitfalls. The best way would be by sending a follow-up email after an interview so you can maximize your chances of getting hired. Follow up after interviews with a thank you note.

Bad follow-up leads to bad memories of interviews.

Job seekers often leave the interview with no idea of what will happen next in the employer’s process. Employers don’t know who is the best person to contact and how to contact them, so they can’t conduct interviews without this information. Job seekers should have an understanding of how employment works from start to finish, so they aren’t confused by the process.

The famous “How to Sell a Pen?” interview question.

No one has the perfect answer to this question. It is impossible to give a single technique of marketing because there are many different ways of doing it and what works for one person may not work for another. As such, it is important that candidates listen carefully and be prepared to change up their approach at any time.

Job interview mistakes – Funny

Humor is a great way to make social connections, but it can also be a way for interviewers to see your true personality. Interview humor that will boost your candidacy includes being able to laugh at yourself and others, making light of difficult situations, playing off the interviewer’s questions or comments in an amusing manner, and knowing how much information you should share with them about yourself.

Tips for acing virtual interviews

  1. A test run is a good idea, especially in online interviews. Lighting is important. Avoid overhead or behind lighting.
  2. Ask the interviewer what the format is before logging on – Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc.
  3. Find a family member or friend to help with the video interview. Carefully examine backgrounds to choose the best spot.
  4. Make sure your laptop is stable. In the case of smartphones, a tripod can help stabilize your device.
  5. Books, artsy pieces in the background, and tactful home décor can make you look smart, put together, and cultured.
  6. Interruptions are rude unless for an emergency.
  7. Make sure everything works, then you can hang out until 5-10 minutes before the scheduled time. Sitting up and smiling makes you look more professional. Slower pace to feel more powerful and energetic.
  8. Eye contact is important even though it isn’t true eye contact. Make sure you ask if you missed something.
  9. Write down keywords and phrases for remembering and circle back to ask questions.
  10. Be yourself. Slow yourself down when you are nervous. Second or two to breathe before answering the questions.
  11. Pro tip: Ask questions that show you would be an engaged and valuable member of the team.
  12. Personalize your “thank you” follow-up so that you come off as genuine,

This article is an attempt to help those who are preparing for a job interview understand the mistakes that people make during interviews and how they can avoid them.

Image credits:

  1. Sora Shimazaki from Pexels
  2. andrewgenn on pixabay
  3. MarinaBH on pixabay
  4. andrewgenn on pixabay


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