An interview is a conversation where questions are asked and answers are given. In common parlance, the word “interview” refers to a one-on-one conversation with one person acting in the role of the interviewer and the other in the role of the interviewee.
Unfortunately, after practicing top interview questions and answers, many prospective employees make more common mistakes than you might think! To be factual, these mistakes are easy to make without even realizing it.
So, what shouldn’t you do when interviewing? Here is a list of common job interview mistakes, blunders, and errors a candidate for employment can make.
7 Most Common Interview Mistakes
Without having to say it, it’s imperative to look professional and polished at a job interview. Although your attire may vary based on the position you’re applying for, it is important to look well dressed and put together, no matter what the company (either a small startup company or a bigger company).
You can also check out how to dress for a job interview for men and women
Asides taking time to prepare for your interview so you don’t have to stress out about blunders after it, you need to pay attention to something you would think would be a no-brainer – being on time for your interview.
2. Arriving Late
Arriving late for an interview can mixed up. Being there on time and in time are two different things.
To create a great first impression (very important to landing a job) you need to arrive early enough. You need to manage your time as running late not only suggest poor timing management skills, but shows a lack of respect for the company, the position and even your interviewer.
Go the extra length to make sure that you aren’t late, and arrive on time, or even early. Budget your time so that you make it to the interview ten to fifteen minutes early. That way, if something unforeseen comes up on your way over to your interview, you’ll have some cushion time.
3. Not Knowing Anything About the Company
“What do you know about this company” is a potential question your employer can stump you with. It is one of the easiest questions to ace, if only you do some research before your interview.
Background information including company history, locations, branches across the country and a mission statement are available in an “About Us” section on most company websites.
Review every information ahead of time, then print it out and read it over just before your interview to refresh your memory. Also check the company’s LinkedIn page and Facebook page, if they have one.
4. Not Knowing Your Resume Well enough
Do you know where you worked and when? You might be surprised to know that some interviewees don’t recall their dates of employment and some of the other data on their Resume. That is one common mistake to avoid because it truly doesn’t speak well of you.
Even if you have submitted a resume when you applied for the job, you may also be asked to fill out a job application. Make sure you know the information you will need to complete an application including dates of prior employment, graduation dates, and employer contact information.
It’s understandable that some of your older experiences may be hard to recall. Review the facts before your interview. It can be helpful to keep a copy of your resume for yourself to refer to during your interview, although certainly don’t use it as a crutch.
Of course, you should never “fudge” any facts on your resume. The more truthful you are on your resume, the better you will be able to discuss your past experience during your interview.
It’s very easy to get distracted during an interview, but not paying attention can cost you a leg
5. Not Paying attention
The attention span of each individual varies. If you feel your attention slipping away, make the effort to stay engaged. Make sure you are well-rested, alert and prepared for your interview.
Getting distracted and missing a question looks bad on your part. If you zone out, your potential employer will wonder how you will be able to stay focused during a day on the job, if you can’t even focus during one interview.
Maintain eye contact, lean forward slightly when talking to your interviewer, and make an active effort to listen effectively.
6. Talking Too Much
There is nothing much worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on and on… The interviewer really doesn’t need to know your whole life story. Keep your answers succinct, to-the-point and focused and don’t ramble — simply answer the question.
Don’t get sidetracked and start talking about your personal life — your spouse, your home life or your children are not topics you should delve into. No matter how warm, welcoming or genial your interviewer may be, an interview is a professional situation — not a personal one.
7. Badmouthing Past Employers
Don’t make the mistake of badmouthing your boss or coworkers. It’s sometimes a smaller world than you think and you don’t know who your interviewer might know, including that boss who is an idiot… You also don’t want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company if you leave on terms that aren’t the best.
When interviewing for a job, you want your employer to know that you can work well with other people and handle conflicts in a mature and effective way, rather than badmouthing your coworkers or talking about other people’s incompetence.
When you’re asked questions like “Tell me about a time that you didn’t work well with a supervisor. What was the outcome and how would you have changed the outcome?” or “Have you worked with someone you didn’t like? If so, how did you handle it?,” don’t fall back on badmouthing other people. Instead, be factual and diplomatic.
Those are 7 common job interview mistakes among many others. If you carefully take time to practice likely interview questions you might be asked, prepare well and research more about the company, you’ll ace that job interview.
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