Top 10 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Job Interview
Whatever your dream job may be, landing an interview is half the battle. Whether you’ve created a killer website for your online resume or you’ve repeatedly emailed the company’s HR department, we know it’s hard work to get your foot in the door. That said, it’s all too common for a candidate to make a costly mistake that will send their chances of scoring their dream job flying out the window.
If you’re preparing for an upcoming interview, fear not! We’ve broken down the top 10 mistakes interviewees often make and some helpful tips to help you along the way.
01. Arriving Late
This should really go without saying, but showing up late to an interview is just about the worst thing you can do when making your first impression to a potential employer. If you’re running late and have a legitimate reason, then call your contact at the company immediately. Set however many alarms you need, plan ahead for traffic and triple check that you know where you’re going to ensure you arrive on time.
02. Not Reading Up on the Company
Before your interview, it’s important to do your homework and research the company and the role you’re pursuing. Showing genuine interest in the company and having knowledge of their history, values and goals proves that you’re a viable candidate who is motivated to contribute to their success. It’s common for an interviewer to ask why you’re seeking employment at their company, so be sure to prep a solid answer that’s in line with their mission.
03. Not Asking the Right Questions
Remember, interviews are a two-way street. While you’ll be asked a variety of questions, it’s important to come equipped with questions of your own. Inquiring about how you will contribute to the team or asking what specific skill set the company is looking for shows you’ve already thought ahead. Additionally, it’s important to feel out the timing and the flow of your interview. Asking the wrong question at the wrong time could lead to a foot in mouth situation. For example, asking about the salary shortly after the interview begins is ill-advised.
04. Exaggerating Your Skills
We know you want to impress your interviewer, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for you to stretch the truth. Let’s start with your resume, for example. If you lied and said you’re an avid content writer, your chance of landing that dream job will likely fly out the window if the interviewer asks you to prep a writing sample on the spot (luckily, if this specific instance describes your situation, these content writing interview tips will surely help). If you’re asked a question in an interview, it’s never a good idea to lie. Remember, there’s actually a high possibility you’ll land the job, so starting off by lying isn’t going to bode well for your future.
05. Being Rude
We’re not saying you have to be Susie sunshine, but when it comes to an interview, you do have to be friendly. A potential employer is looking for someone with a personality that fits with the team and your interview is your one chance to show that off. Make sure you smile and appear interested in the conversation. And while you’re at it, mind your manners! The interview room is not your home, so don’t slouch, put your feet up, or attempt to catch a Pokémon on your phone in the middle of everything.
06. Rambling Too Much
It’s happened to all of us at some point. Someone asks you a question and you sort of zone out and respond to them on autopilot. The next thing you know 10 minutes have passed and you’re rambling about something completely unrelated to the initial question. Preparing for an interview beforehand will help you nail down your answers so you’re ready to provide a clear and concise response. Speak slowly when you answer so you’re fully aware of your response and always keep in mind the end point you’re trying to make.
07. Complaining About Your Current Job
Leaving your job because you’re sick and tired of your current stint? Keep it to yourself. There is nothing more unprofessional than telling a prospective employer all of the reasons you hate your current boss. More than likely you will be asked why you’re looking for something new so be sure you prepare a politically correct answer.
08. Not Being Yourself
While we touched on this in an earlier point, we really can’t stress it enough; be yourself! Yes, you want to appear confident and show your interviewer that you’re ready to take on the job at the drop of a hat, but you want to be real. Putting on an act during an interview will only come back to haunt you in the end.
09. Ignoring Your Body Language
From the moment you meet your interviewer, you need to be attuned to your body language. Remember the basics; smile when you walk in, have a firm handshake and maintain steady eye contact. Everything your body does projects a message, so be sure you’re projecting confidence and sincerity. You’re the real deal and now’s your chance to prove it! Another tip? Be mindful of your interviewer’s body language. If they cross their arms, they could feel defensive or uncomfortable so be sure you’re paying attention and acting accordingly.
10. Not Following Up
If you really want the job, then you need to seal the deal with a follow-up email. Incorporate highlights from your interview and make one last point about how you’re confident you’re the right candidate for the position. No need to come off desperate and get into all the details you’ve already covered. This is just a thank you message for their time and a friendly reminder that you’ve got it going on.
By The Wix Team