Top 10 Job Interview Mistakes

This makes no sense.

You did everything you needed to do. You prepared for a week, you did all of your homework, and even made sure you looked great. You showed up early, and sounded intelligent and excited about this potential new chapter in your life. And then…the dreaded phone call: “Hi, we’ve decided to choose another candidate that better fits our needs. Good luck in the future!” Essentially, they told you that you’re “not good enough” in the nicest way possible. So, how do you bounce back from such a crushing blow? You figure out what you did wrong, and make a plan to never make those mistakes again. And you’re not the only one who has made these mistakes; millions of job applicants have the same missteps every day.

Here are the top 10 mistakes made during job interviews:

1. Being too focused on YOU – When a company is looking to hire someone to compliment their current staff or group of employees, and they’re looking for you to bring value and help the company make more money, ultimately. The last thing they want to hear during the interview is a constant “I, I, I” barrage hitting their eardrums. They want to know what you will do for THEM, not what you hope they as a company will do for you. Ego-centric is a no-no



2. Being Desperate – Ok, being desperate is not necessarily going to hurt you, because a lot of people applying for jobs are desperate, but it is the fact that you let them SEE that you’re desperate. Having anxiety and rambling on during the interview process are telltale signs of being overly desperate for the position and it signals to the employer that you only have your best interests at heart, not the company’s.

3. Not being able to answer basic qualification questions – This is one of the most common ones. The employer asks what your strengths are, and you sit there with a blank stare or start stuttering. People also fall into the trap of saying generic things such as “I’m a really hard worker and I like to get things done quickly”. The interviewer has heard this same response and similar ones a ton of times over the years, and it provides no insight into what your strengths and weaknesses are, or what you will bring to the table.

4. Being late to the interview – Not only does this show unprofessionalism overall, it shows that you are incapable of managing responsibilities and it shows that if you are late for the interview, you would likely be late for the job as well, and may even indicate your schedule-adherence when deadlines arrive.


5. Badmouthing a previous employer – There are always diplomatic ways to express disappointment or a bad, unfortunate situation, such as a bad boss, or pay etc. Being negative is not something that is attractive to anyone and it definitely does not make you look good to your new employer, regardless of what you think. People fall into this trap, thinking they will be impressing their new employer by trashing their old one and that simply could not be further from the truth.

6. Knowing nothing about the employer you’re interviewing with-  Before you even get to the interview, make sure you know about the organization’s financial status and history, as well as the overall goal and vision of the company. Overall you should have a very thorough and sensible explanation as to why you want to work for the company and how you will move their vision forward, not primarily how much money you will be making.

7. Being on your phone – Something as simple as opening a text message or answering a call may seem harmless and fine to you, but it shows to your employer that you have a lack of focus and that you are too preoccupied with things other than their best interests. If the phone happens to ring during the interview, simply apologize and turn it off.

8. Asking the hiring manager personal questions- This is a big no-no as well, and it will leave the hiring manager feeling uneasy and uncomfortable, and will surely land your application in the trash bin. There is no need for you to know anything about the hiring manager other than work-related things.



9. Not asking good questions– Asking good questions shows that you are interested in the position and that you want to know how to best serve the company and how to best do your job. If you don’t ask any questions at all, or you ask questions that are either unimportant or general, this will come off as being unprofessional from you.

10. Not providing specific-enough answers in regards to previous experiences – If an employer wants to know about specific times or days that you have had at your previous job that tried your patience and endurance, and you simply say “Well, I had a lot of rough days, but I kept pushing through”, then you are showing that either you have not had enough seasoned experience, or you are unable to effectively communicate these things.





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