Here are the most common job interview mistakes, blunders, and errors a candidate for employment can 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 out about blunders after it.
Since job candidates often have several interviews with different managers scheduled back to back, two things could happen when you show up late: Either your first interview is cut short, or you disrupt the schedules of several interviewers. Neither is good for you, since it either short changes your time with an interviewer or makes multiple people grumpy.
Arriving too early
On the flip side, arriving too early can also irritate a hiring manager, since it is equally disruptive to their schedule. It’s important to arrive at least 10 minutes early to get through any security and check in with reception, but it’s a mistake to arrive any earlier than 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time.
Looking put together signals that you care about the interview and want to put your best foot forward. However, all too often people show up to interviews appearing rumpled, wrinkled, stained and wearing clothes that don’t quite fit. It’s not a fashion show, but it is important to carefully select your outfit, brush your hair and take a look in the mirror before you arrive.
Lying on resume
It might be tempting to embellish some of the bullet points on your resume, but this tactic is dishonest. Instead, take the time to write truthful, accurate and eye-catching bullet points about your past job experience, skills and qualifications.
Further, not demonstrating a basic knowledge of the role or providing clear examples of your past performance makes it seem like you just rolled in after only glancing at the company’s website. Carefully analyze the job description. Write down each requirement, and how you meet that requirement. Then, determine your accomplishments that align with those requirements. Write down your accomplishments, quantified as much as possible, to help you remember them.
Sharing too much information
Answer interviewers’ question, and then stop talking. Or, ask a question of your own. As simple as that. We recommend that you avoid boring the interviewer and blowing an opportunity by sharing too much information. If they want more details, they’ll ask.
Speaking negative about past jobs
Some of your past jobs may not have been great experiences. Despite this, stay positive while discussing past positions and employers. Speaking negatively about them might lead the interviewer to believe that you’re a hard person to get along with.
Not having any questions
Most interviewers leave time at the end to answer questions. Usually, they know you’re vetting them, too, and want to make sure it’s a two-sided conversation. It’s also a bit of a test. The questions you ask often reveal the way you think and what’s important to you. It also shows that you care enough about the job that you want to know more. Not having any questions prepared signals you don’t care, aren’t curious, or haven’t done your homework. If you freeze up, throw out an old standby question like, “What does success look like in this role?” or “What’s the culture like here?”
Forgetting to follow up
So many people forget this basic rule of interviewing: Follow up within 24 hours by email to thank the interviewer for their time and underscore your interest in the position. If you don’t do it, hiring managers may think you’re not interested or organized, or they may simply forget about you.
Following up too aggressively
While it’s important to follow up, you should not send multiple emails or call an interviewer. It is extremely awkward to receive a call out of the blue from someone demanding to know why they haven’t heard from you. Send your follow-up email, and then move on with your life. Anything more is probably too much.
Everyone makes mistakes, and, often, the mistakes are not “fatal” for your job search. But, do your best to avoid these errors, and you should have a short job search. Best of luck!