Interviews can be nerve wracking and it’s important that you make a good impression to put yourself in good stead for being selected as the right person for the job.
However, factors such as nerves or just a lack of organisation can jeopardise this and there are certain common job interview mistakes that you want to do your best to avoid. Making any one of these can hurt your chances of getting the job or have the employer hire another candidate who didn’t make these common job interview mistakes.
1. Looking sloppy
Wrinkled or stained clothing will be noticed a mile away. No matter how nice the rest of your outfit is, if you have a stain on one part, it will ruin your entire look. Plus, it’s a dead giveaway for your lack of attention to detail. If you’ve ever hear the saying, “how you do anything is how you do everything,” it could hold more truth in this situation.
2. Not being prepared
Before you go into your interview, you should always go over some questions you think you could be asked. While you don’t want your answers to sound rehearsed, you definitely want to sound prepared. If you are asked a question and don’t give an intelligent answer to it, the employer will most likely move on to the next candidate.
This includes your resume as well. If the interviewer asks you about a previous job you have listed on your resume and you can’t remember because it was so long ago, you will only make yourself look bad and unprepared. Brush up on everything that you have listed on your resume – it’s fair game for your interview.
3. Talking about salary too soon
Don’t jump the gun regarding salary. Wait until the interviewer gets to know you a bit and or asks you about it before you start talking about it. If you only want the job because of the money, it will show and hurt your chances of getting the job. Most often there are several candidates who are competing for the same position you are. The company isn’t going to give the job to the person who is only in it for the money.
While it is completely reasonable to negotiate your salary, make sure you do it at the right time.
4. Being late
Always be on time for your interview. Make sure you have the right directions and allow plenty of travel time, considering traffic to get there. If you are late for an interview, your employer might see that you will probably be late showing up for work. Of course, there are some exceptional situations where you might be late and if one of those arises, make sure you call and let the interviewer know.
Always tell the truth about your past job history and anything that is asked of you at your job interview. If you lie, it will be a matter of time before the employer finds out.
6. Gossiping about a former boss
Nothing will make you look worse than talking badly about a former boss or place of employment. If you talk badly about your previous employer, chances are you will talk badly about this company if you get hired. Nobody likes a gossip. Plus you never know who knows who, so it’s best to keep your personal business personal.
7. Having a bad odor
Bringing a strong odor into an interview can be very distracting. Don’t wear any perfume or smoke a cigarette right before your interview. You never know what kind of allergies the interviewer may have and this is not a great way to find out. Try not to smell like anything, so your interviewer can concentrate on you instead the smell.
If you are fidgety and anxious, the interviewer will sense your lack of confidence. Before you go into your interview, take a few minutes to collect your thoughts and take a few deep breaths. Make a point to make eye contact with the interviewer to create a good non-verbal connection.
9. Not listening carefully
If you don’t listen to what questions the interviewer is asking you, you are basically insinuating that what you think is more important that the question they are asking. Make sure to listen to exactly what they are asking and answer the right question. If you don’t listen carefully during the interview, you will probably not be great at following direction on the job.
10. Appearing desperate
Interviewers can pick up on this right away. It’s ok to be enthusiastic about wanting the job, but there are limits. Keep your emotions out of the interview and focus on the skills and experience you can bring to the table.
About Jörgen Sundberg
- The original Undercover Recruiter, after 7 years in tech recruiting Jorgen now runs Link Humans, a social and digital marketing agency in London.