11 Biggest Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid

11 Biggest Job Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Having a well-written resume from professionals can only get you so far in the hiring process. Your chances of landing the job of your dreams now depend on the interview. Often the most feared part of the hiring process, your job interview is where the decision about your future is made.

Almost all job applicants admit to being nervous during their interview. The small mistakes we all make will likely not affect your chances too much. Yet, certain job interview mistakes that could get your rejected. To make the process less stressful, hiring managers have shared some of their tips on how to succeed.

Watch out for these 11 job interview mistakes to increase your chances of getting your dream job.

1. Lying

Lying on your resume may seem much easier than keeping up with the lie in the interview. Still, it is one of the most common interview mistakes. Hiring managers catch applicants during a lie more often than you may think. Getting caught lying during the interview means immediate rejection. Even if you pass the interview, most employers conduct thorough background checks. They will most likely find out, which will lead to lost time and a bad reputation.

2. Being late

Showing up late for an interview will never make a good first impression. Most interviewers recommend that you come 10-15 minutes early. Being late or too early are both among the job interview mistakes you should avoid. But accidents happen. If you know you’ll be late, make sure to inform the interviewer as soon as possible to avoid wasting their time.

3. Not being able to answer interview questions

Many of the questions that interviewers ask are the same or similar for every position. Not having answers to basic questions about your career is a bad sign. It might show the interviewer that you are not interested in the position of the company. This is because you have shown no effort to think of your answers beforehand. Prepare for questions about your professional strengths, weaknesses, and experience in advance. This will make you look invested and professional.

4. Forgetting to do your research

Hiring managers are likely to choose a candidate who shows initiative and enthusiasm. Not researching the company and role are job interview mistakes you should avoid. Showing interest and learning about the company will make you stand out.

5. Avoiding eye contact

Making eye contact can be hard, especially if you are shy. However, many interviewers agree that not making eye contact often raises suspicion. It could mean you are not confident in your abilities or that you are hiding something. If you are participating in a video interview, ensure you are looking straight at the camera lens. Keeping eye contact will make you look more engaged in the conversation.

6. Overusing cliches

While the interview questions are often the same, it does not mean that your answer should be too. Your answer to “What is your biggest weakness?” does not have to be “I work too hard.” Prepare your answers ahead of time and use them to stand out. The interviewer will be glad to hear something new and will most likely remember you.

7. Not asking questions

When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, don’t let them down. Not having any questions is among the job interview mistakes you should avoid. Prepare your questions in advance. You can even ask about something that you discussed during the interview. This shows initiative and your genuine interest in the role.

8. Using poor body language

There is more to your job interview than the questions and answers. Your body language affects the first impression the interviewer gets. It can also play an important role throughout the interview. Being nervous or shy can affect your body language negatively. You should avoid fidgeting or slouching during your interview. Good posture, firm handshake and eye contact will make the best first impression.

9. Being too aggressive

Being confident in your skills is great. Acting arrogant or dominating the interview is not. You know you have many skills and experience to show off and talk about. But remember, the interviewer should be the one leading the conversation.

10. Lacking communication skills

The way you speak to the interviewer affects the first impression you make. Speaking with clarity and respect will make the interview more pleasant for both. Moreover, it can show the interviewer that you are fit for the job straight away. Many interviewers assess your communication abilities straight away. It is important to think of the interview as a conversation, rather than an interrogation. Give concise, descriptive answers in full sentences, but avoid rambling at all costs.

11. Not bringing your resume

You have most likely already sent your resume and cover letter beforehand. Still, it is a good idea to bring a copy to the interview. The interviewer may review the documents while you speak and ask follow-up questions. Bringing a copy or two of your resume, cover letter or recommendations is always a good idea.

By avoiding these common interview mistakes, you can gain an advantage over your competitors. But if you slip up or make a small mistake during your interview, it does not mean you have failed. Remember that your skills are what matters the most. You may even learn a valuable lesson from a mistake you make during a job interview. Preparing for your interview in advance is the key to success. If you have prepared all your answers but are not sure what to ask the interviewer, check out “10 Questions You Should Definitely Ask An Interviewer.”

Good luck!


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Here are 11 Biggest Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Lying
  2. Being late
  3. Not being able to answer interview questions
  4. Forgetting to do your research
  5. Avoiding eye contact
  6. Overusing cliches
  7. Not asking questions
  8. Using poor body language
  9. Being too aggressive
  10. Lacking communication skills
  11. Not bringing your resume

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Isabel Thottam Career Writer

Isabel Thottam

Isabel Thottam is a career consultant & career advice expert, writer for CNBCBusiness Insider, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine based in Seattle, WA @isabel_k_t

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