3 Common Interview Mistakes And How You Can Avoid Them

You’ve put all that work into preparing for this interview. Don’t lose out on a job by getting caught on common interview mistakes. We’ll cover three of these mistakes here.


The wrong questions

The first interview mistake happens when job candidates ask the wrong questions.

The wrong ones include, “What’s my salary and benefits look like?” or, “how many weeks of vacation do I get?” Asking these questions makes you look like a hired gun. You’re not interested in the company or the work. You’re just in it for the money, and if another job comes along offering you more money, you will immediately walk way.

The right questions are ones that build a relationship with the interviewer. Examples of these questions include, “What has your experience been like at this organization?” or “What accomplishment are you most proud of?” These demonstrate that you interested in the person and the firm.

The wrong image

Many job seekers know that confidence is important. Yet, some talk such a big game that they are clearly exaggerating. If you end up speaking this way, your integrity and ability to deliver results will be called into question. So, this second common job interview mistake is when candidates come across as arrogant or superior.

Another type of interview arrogance occurs when a job seeker is asked a question that she doesn’t wish to answer and decides to avoid responding to it. She may change the subject or respond to the question with an answer that doesn’t match with the interviewer’s request.

Know that if you do this, you will very likely get caught. The interviewer may not alert you that you were caught, but, without realizing it, your interview may have already ended.

Obviously, if you sound condescending, you will not be someone that the interviewer wishes to work with on a daily basis, and you will not get the job. When you walk into an interview, be straightforward and reasonable. Speak to this person as a peer, and you should be fine.

The wrong presentation

The third type of common interview mistake is when a job candidates fails to build a relationship with the interviewer. Some people walk into an interview and just answer the questions in a cold matter of fact way.  They answer each question like the interviewer is a stenographer who is just recording facts to be typed up later.

Successful job seekers create a conversation with their interviewer. They ask questions, and the engage with the interviewer using appropriate body language. This means smiling or laughing at funny comments, nodding, making eye contact and in other ways showing that you are listening.

It is a definite mistake to not ask any questions until the interview is over. To create a conversation, ask questions as they come up during the conversation.

Your interview mistakes?

Each job interview will give you the chance to prove why you are the right person for the job.  It’s a test that questions both your personality and your ability to provide the correct answers to various types of questions.

Unfortunately, you don’t always receive your test score back at the end. So it’s very common to make a mistake, and without any feedback, make the same mistake in a subsequent interview.

For any job where you don’t receive an offer, I would recommend that you follow up and ask for feedback. If you’re lucky, you’ll receive an honest assessment.

Often for fear of legal retribution (the US does have a lot of lawsuits), people will be a bit less than forthcoming about anything negative.  So if you feel like you are doing something wrong, ask a friend or an expert to give you a mock interview and share feedback on your performance.

I hope that you can avoid these common interview mistakes and land that job offer.