9 Common Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Have you ever wondered why you did not get that job despite your amazing qualification? Yes, I know it is a very competitive market out there, but have you stopped to think that maybe the reason you did not nail that interview has something to do with how you’re coming across in interviews? Truth is no matter how qualified you are, you’re unlikely to get the job if you flunk the interview.

I will be the first to admit that there are a lot of other factors beyond your control that influence the result of your interview but wouldn’t it be sad if you sabotaged your chances of getting that job?

Ngcareers have put together some pitfalls you should avoid during interviews.

You came in too late (or too early)

This should be a no news for you. Even if you were held up in the longest traffic jam ever on Third Mainland Bridge, no one’s interested in hearing it. I know this might come across as harsh, but think of how often the “traffic” excuse is used and overused. If you’re afraid that traffic might be an issue, you need to figure that into your commute and plan around it.

i am late

On the flip side, while it helps to arrive at the interview about 10-20 minutes early, you never want to show up earlier than that since it makes you look as if you have nothing better to do.

You came in unprepared

You wouldn’t show up for your semester exam without studying (or so I would like to think), so why would you show up for an interview without adequate preparation? Whether you pass or fail an interview is largely dependent on how well you understand the company and its needs, and how effectively you’re able to translate your strengths and skills into assets the company desires.


You are not paying attention

Don’t let yourself zone out during an interview. 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.

If you feel your attention slipping away, make the effort to stay engaged. Maintain eye contact, lean forward slightly when talking to your interviewer, and make an active effort to listen effectively.

You’re self-absorbed

While it’s a plus to be confident in your strengths and want to share your success story, remember that an interview is a dialogue, not a one-person-show. Don’t become so absorbed with saying the right things that you don’t hear what the other person is saying. Answer the question they asked, not the one you wished they asked. And whatever you do, try not to brag.

See also: Communication Blunders Job Seekers Make

You overshare

You want to create a rapport with your interviewers and to put everyone at ease, but you also want to stay professional at all times. 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.


On no condition must you get sidetracked and start talking about your personal life; no matter how warm, welcoming or genial your interviewer may be, an interview is a professional situation – not a personal one.

You’re Not Properly Dressed

It’s been said that most employers decide whether or not to hire you within the first 5-15 minutes of an interview. This means that you have a very short window to make a good impression. And the very first impression you make is visual. So if you’re not dressed like you’re serious about the job – either by not dressing professionally enough or not paying attention to details such as shoes or wrinkles in your clothes, you could be out before you’ve even started.

See also: Top 7 Tricky Job Interview Questions And The Best Way To Answer Them

You badmouth current/former employers

Everybody knows that you’re not going to like everyone you’ve ever worked for, maybe you are even seeking a new job because you current boss is annoying. But choosing to badmouth former or current employers to a complete stranger says a lot about you. One, you’re indiscreet. Two, you’re unprofessional. Three, you hold grudges than take the high road. None of these are attractive qualities in a job candidate.

You failed to ask smart questions

never make the mistake of thinking that an interviewer is simply being polite when she asks if you have any questions. She is not! The interviewer is eager to gauge if you’ve been listening carefully, you’ve done your homework and you’re asking the kinds of questions that show you’re thoughtful, creative and thorough. It’s great to ask them to clarify something from the interview or describe how a typical day unfolds.

See also: 6 Questions Smart Candidates Ask During A Job Interview

You’re not gracious

Nobody wants to hire somebody who seems entitled. Remember to thank each employer for taking the time to interview you, both at the end of an interview and with a quick thank you card a day or two after. A little gratitude in life or on the job search always goes a very long way.

About Stellamaris Obomanu

Loves to read, loves to write, loves to laugh, loves life and yeah, she's as real as they come.

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