8 Mistakes to avoid during job interviews

It’s easy to make mistakes during a job interview.  An interview remains a stressful situation, and you can make mistakes without even knowing it. However, if you’re aware of these common mistakes, you can ensure you don’t make them!

Here are 8 common mistakes to avoid during job interviews. Inspired by Alison Doyle.

Mistake 1: Arriving late

If you’re late, you make a bad first impression before you have even arrived at your interview.  Running late shows a lack of respect for the company, the interviewer and the position.  Go the extra mile to ensure you arrive at least 5 or 10 minutes early.

Mistake 2: Bringing a drink with you

Get rid of the water bottle or take-away coffee before you enter the interview. Having a drink creates an opportunity for distraction, like fiddling with the cup or the cap of the bottle. Or even worse, the possibility of spilling the drink on the desk!  It is unprofessional to enter with a drink. You should be focused on making a good impression, maintaining eye-contact and paying full attention throughout the process.

Mistake 3:  Using your phone during the interview

Before you enter the interview, silence your phone.  Stow it away in your bag to resist the temptation to check it.  Using your phone in any way gives a clear message to your potential employer that getting the job is not your top priority.

Mistake 4:  Not knowing anything about the company

One of the easiest questions to ace, if you do some research before the interview, is “What do you know about this company?”.  Check the company’s website and social media pages for info on company history, locations, divisions and values.

Mistake 5:  Not paying attention

Getting distracted and missing a question looks bad. Ensure that you are well-rested, prepared and alert.

If you realize your attention is lacking or slipping away, stay engaged. Maintain eye contact, lean forward slightly when talking to your interviewer, and make an effort to listen actively.

Mistake 6: Talking too much

Don’t get side-tracked and start talking about your personal life—your spouse, your home life, or your children.  Keep your answers succinct, to-the-point and focused.  Simply answer the question.

Mistake 7: Badmouthing past employers

When interviewing for a job, you want your employer to know that you can work well with other people and handle conflicts in a mature and effective way, rather than badmouthing your co-workers or talking about other people’s incompetence.

Also, it’s a small world. You don’t know who your interviewer might know. And you don’t want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company if you leave on terms that aren’t the best.

Mistake 8:  Not having any questions to ask the interviewer

Personally, there is nothing worse to me than a candidate who doesn’t have any questions for me as the interviewer or potential employer.  There must be something that you came across in your research that you’re curious about.  Make sure you have some interesting questions about the company or the position.

Be mindful of these common mistakes during job interviews and avoid them to give you a better chance of being successful.

Have a look at THESE tips for a successful job interview.

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