Interview Mistakes

A resume might get you an interview but it is the interview that will get you the job. Therefore, a job interview is the make-it or break-it part of a job application process. You would want to create an impression on the employer so deep that they will not see anybody else as a better fit for the job. There are some really easy steps you can take to make sure you are completely prepared for your big day and avoid these common mistakes:

Before the interview day:

Call to confirm day/time/place of the interview. State your name clearly and ask for pronunciation of names in your interview list that you are not sure of.

On the interview day Documents:

Bring necessary documents, several copies of your resume, portfolio and completed application (if required).

Interview manners:

Stand up to greet the interviewer and anyone else who enters the room as it is a sign of respect. Make sure your handshake is firm and you maintain good eye contact. Smile and appear warm.


Providing too much unnecessary information, rambling on and on, blurting out something as soon as the interviewer stops talking because you are nervous and pretending to understand something you do not, are recipes for creating a negative impression.


It is really important to dress professionally. Loud colors, too much skin and too much jewelry are not good ideas. Dress conservatively.

Be ready with answers:

Research typical job questions. Know ahead of time what your answers will be to generic questions such as, “What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? What can you contribute to the company that no one else can? What are your career goals?”

Be ready with questions:

An interview is all about answering questions no doubt. But it is also about asking good questions. You should be prepared to ask good questions about the position.

Do your research:

Never come to an interview knowing nothing about the company and about the people who you will meet on the interview day. You should research the company’s products, culture, policies, philosophy, career growth opportunities and also gather knowledge about the leaders of the company and their vision. You should definitely research the position. This way, you will be able to hold intelligent and well-informed conversation about the company. You will also be able to ask better questions.

Hold your tongue:

In an interview, due to nervousness, people sometimes blurt out inappropriate words, comments or infer the wrong idea. This is hard to fix so focus carefully on the words that come out of your mouth and make sure that they are spoken intelligibly.

Cell phones:

You need to check before the interview that your cell phone is completely turned off. The “chimes”, “beeps” and “tweets” of smartphones are as annoying as an actual phone ring during an interview. Do not have your phone out by any means to check time or even glance at the wall clock if there is one.   If you wear watches, take it off prior to the interview.

Asking about salary too early:

This is obviously a determining factor but don’t rush into this question. That discussion will be had eventually by your employer. Rushing into it creates a feeling that all you care about is the money and not about the job and it will work against you.

Other offers:

This is absolutely not the time to pressure your potential employer with talks of other job offers. It will make you look ridiculous. Why would the company take the trouble to interview you and see if you are a good fit if you already have a place to work? Why would they want to believe you when you say that you are excited to work here?

Name dropping:

Yes, it could be true that a contact got you the job interview. In fact, networking and getting interviews through networking contacts is key these days. But too much name dropping might make you look like a person who wants to get by with his/her connections.


Arriving late will turn off your employer and you will be forced to start on the wrong footing. Arrive at least fifteen minutes early so you could settle in, fill out any paperwork that’s needed and just catch your breath.


It is common to embellish the resume but downright lying on the resume is never recommended. An employer will respect your truth and honesty. Say the truth and make sure you can show skills that you used and learned from that experience.

Support Staff:

Failing to show respect and acknowledgement of support staff, including security, the receptionist, the secretary and others you encounter on your way in will work against you. Their impressions of you may be asked by potential employers.

The interview is your big opportunity to add a few more facets to your resume-your personality, your enthusiasm and your knowledge. So take it seriously and prepare carefully.

For more interview advice, click here .

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