• Dr. Sharon Livingston


Getting called to interview with a company that you really want to work for is truly exciting stuff. You’re bound to be happy—and probably nervous, too. No matter what industry you’re in, though, you’ll definitely want to avoid nine of the biggest job interview mistakes out there. Steer clear of these errors, and you’ll ace your interview! 1. You forgot the job you applied for.

There are many embarrassing things that can happen during an interview, but forgetting the actual job that you applied for ranks pretty high. Although you might have applied to a lot of jobs lately, avoid job interview mistakes like this by brushing up on the specific job for which you’re interviewing beforehand. Read through the job description again to familiarize yourself with the role and its responsibilities. That way, you’ll be prepared to answer specific questions regarding how your experience uniquely qualifies you for the position.

2. You didn’t research the company ahead of time.

In order to avoid overthinking how you’re going to answer the questions during your job interview, you decide that you’re just going to wing it. But going into an interview blind is never advisable. If you don’t know what the organization stands for, its company culture, and what its operations are about, you won’t be able to answer questions relating to those topics during the interview. Research every company before you go in for the interview. This can help get you through to the next round of interviews.

3. You were dressed inappropriately.

Professional attire for the interview that matches the atmosphere, as well as the climate, is important. If the company adheres to a strict business dress code, showing up in your business casual attire will not look good. To get a sense of what the company’s vibe is like, visit its social media channels. Are the company photos full of employees dressed in button-down suits, or are they dressed in jeans and tees? Before you decide to dress down for your interview, keep in mind that no matter how lax the company’s dress code is, you should still wear some version of business casual clothing for your interview.

4. You got caught lying.

In an effort to position yourself as the candidate to hire, you told a slightly exaggerated version of the truth during your job interview. (Okay, you lied.) While it’s understandable to want to fudge an answer in an effort to impress the hiring manager, lying can do serious damage to not only your chances of getting this job, but your professional reputation as a whole. Word can spread throughout your industry that you lied during an interview, and can impede your chances of getting hired in the future. So stick to telling the truth during your interview—you’ll be better off in the long run for it.

5. You arrived too late—or too early.

It’s no secret that being late to an interview can ruin it. The same goes for being too early. If you arrive a half hour early to an interview, great, but don’t check in or announce your presence until about 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time(unless the employer asked you otherwise). Doing so might make you appear pushy and may cause the hiring manager to feel rushed to start your interview.

6. You weren’t genuine.

When employers are conducting interviews, they’re looking to not just find out if you can do the job, but they’re also trying to discover who you are as a person, too. That’s why it’s important to be as genuine as possible during your interview. Faking everything about who you are is a good way to not make it further in the interview process. Keep in mind that employers have likely researched you online, and if you act completely different in person than you seem online, it’ll raise a red flag.

7. You left your cell phone on.

During a job interview, you want your interviewer to feel like all of your attention is solely focused on them. Thing is, you can’t do that if your cell is buzzing away, or worse, ringing/dinging/whistling at you. Once you’re called into your interview, make sure to shut your phone off. Even having a phone on vibrate can be disturbing (and embarrassing) if the room is quiet enough. It can be distracting to both you and your potential employer, and is a big job interview no-no.

8. You badmouthed your current or past employer.

Sure, your previous employer might have made your workdays a misery. But badmouthing prior employers (even if you’re right) is a very wrong thing to do. It often has the opposite effect intended—making you look worse than your employer. And keep in mind that if you’re job searching in the same field, there is a chance that your prospective employer and former one might know each other. So if you’re asked why you left your last job, cite other excuses (such as the lack of growth in your job, or your desire to work for this particular company), and skip the badmouthing altogether.

9. You didn’t sell yourself.

While no one likes a braggart, there is something to be said for being able to sell yourself during a job interview. This means knowing what your strengths are and how they can tie into the requirements of the role. Essentially, you want to make the case for why you’re the best person for the job to a potential employer, so be honest about your accomplishments by backing them up with facts and figures to support your claims. SOURCE: flexjobs.com