Easy-to-make interview mistakes

by | 03.02.22

What shouldn’t you do in an interview? Here I’ve compiled some of the most common blunders that people make. Unfortunately, it’s easy to make these mistakes without even realizing it, and many of them are more common than you might think. Take the time to prepare before your interview so you don’t have to stress about blunders you’ve made afterwards. Here are some tips:

Dressing Inappropriately

When you attend a job interview, be it in person or online it’s imperative you look professional and polished. Although what you wear may be based on the position you are applying for. For example, if you are going for an office job you need to be wearing smart office clothes. We have had people turning up to interviews in jeans, leggings and t-shirts. We have also had someone completing an online interview in a string vest. Think carefully about what you are wearing you need to make a good impression.

Arriving late

Anyone with any common sense knows that first impressions are very important in landing a job, but did you know you can make a bad impression BEFORE you even arrive at your interview? Running late not only suggests poor time management skills but also shows a lack of respect for the employer, the position you have applied for and even the person who is interviewing you.  Go the extra mile to make sure that you aren’t late and arrive on time, or even early. This is equally important if your interview is online make sure your equipment is working properly and you have a quiet area to conduct the interview. Measure your time so that you arrive at the interview five or ten minutes early, allow the same amount of time in your interviews online. By doing this if something unforeseen comes up you have a cushion of time and you won’t be late.

Bringing a drink with you

Do not enter an interview with a drink in your hand, not even a water bottle never mind a coffee. Additionally, if your interview is online do not have cups or glasses on view. Not only is it unprofessional to enter with a drink, but during your interview you need to be focused on getting the job, making a good impression, answering questions and maintaining eye contact with the interviewer. Most importantly you need to be paying attention throughout the entire interview not swigging coffee. Having a drink in front of you creates an opportunity for distraction, fiddling with the cup, or missing a question why taking a sip for example. Another issues could be causing bedlam by spilling the drink over the desk or even over the person who is interviewing you. What a nightmare.

Using your phone during an interview

Before you get to your interview, or before you set up for an online interview, turn your phone off. Taking a call, receiving a text or getting an email during an interview is rude and disruptive. It’s also a clear message to the employer that getting a job is not your top priority. Never, ever answer a call or respond to a message during the interview. In fact, do not even check your iPhone. Stow it in your bag or your pocket before you enter the building. Never ever forget to turn it off.

Not doing your research

Don’t ever put yourself in a situation where you are asked “What you do you know about our company” and you haven’t got an answer. This is one of the easiest questions to earn brownie points for if you answer it well. Background information including company history and what they do is available from their website. Read it before you go to the interview. Also check the employers LinkedIn page, Facebook page and Twitter feed it they have one.

Submitting an inaccurate CV

Although you will have submitted a CV when you applied for the job, you may have also been asked to fill out a job application form. Make sure the information you complete on the application form matches your CV, also make sure it’s true. Dates of employment can be checked by an employer, and no-one likes a fibber. Review your CV before your interview. Make sure you know what you have put on your CV before the interview because I promise you will be questioned on it. My advice to you is to take your CV with you to the interview and if necessary, refer to it, although don’t use it as a crutch. By being truthful on your CV you will be able to discuss experience during the interview with confidence.

Not paying attention

Don’t let yourself zone out during an interview., Make sure you are well-rested, alert and prepared. Getting distracted and missing a question looks bad on your part. If you appear distracted or disinterested at any time during the interview you won’t get the job. How could an employer offer you a job if you can’t focus during the interview? If you feel your attention slipping away make an effort to stay engaged. Maintain eye contact, lean forward slightly when talking in the interview and make an effort to listen well.

Don’t talk too much

There is nothing worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on. I’ve experienced this in the past and frankly it makes you want to commit hari kari. Don’t get side-tracked and start talking about your personal life, your partner, your children, your homelife or your hobbies. The interviewer really is not interested. They may appear to be, but I promise you they are not. Remember an interview is a professional situation you are not out with your mates.

Don’t refuse to answer questions

Be prepared to answer questions during your interview they can’t be personal questions like “how many children do you have”. The interviewer is probably going to ask you more than just the basics about your work experience. To get a feel for your ability to do the job the interviewer is going to ask you a question about your skills and experience which are relevant to their job. Don’t let yourself be caught off guard, don’t get defensive and definitely don’t refuse to answer any questions.

Do not badmouth past employers

Don’t make the mistake of badmouthing your current boss or work colleagues. Its sometimes a smaller world than you think, and you don’t know who the interviewer might know, including the boss you think is an idiot. You also don’t want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about their company. When you are being interviewed for a job, the interviewer is trying to assess whether you will fit with their team, its all very well that you have the skills and experience to do the job but if you are going to disrupt the existing team because you cannot work with other people well you definitely won’t get the job.

So, there you go, its easy to make a mistake during an interview and you could miss out on a job opportunity if you do. The key to getting a job offer is by being prepared, being honest, being courteous and being professional. Its not rocket science. If you think you have messed up an interview you may be able to salvage it by sending an email to the interviewer and apologising for your boo boo, its always worth a try.

Good Luck

Angela Burton