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Top 10 Interview Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Successful interviewing takes skill and knowledge. When you interview for a position you do need to do your research about the company, plan for questions that may be asked, and practice. There are ten basic blunders that often happen in an interview that can keep you from being employed.

  • Poor preparation. Interviewers will always ask what do you know about this company? With that question, interviewers want to know if you really want to work for their company. Go to the prospective company website and learn basic information. The name of the company, mission statement, locations, and divisions is information that you should know before your interview. You should also be prepared for other things they may ask. Here is a good resource for potential interview questions.
  • Dressing inappropriately. If you are interviewing to work in a professional environment, wear a suit if you are a gentleman and a dress or suit if you are a woman. Always be neat and clean. If you are unsure about what to wear, go to the business site and see what the employees coming and going are wearing.
  • Communicating poorly. Positively connect with the interviewer. Shake hands, make eye contact, exude confidence, engage the interviewers, and above all be positive and let the interviewer know you are an excellent candidate for this position.
  • Communicating too much. Leave your cell phone behind or turn it totally off. Your resume and any other pertinent paperwork are all you need. Coffee, food, gum, or snacks have no place in an interview.
  • Talking too much. Let the interviewer talk. Avoid going on about your life. The interviewer wants to know your relevance for the job, not what you are going to do after the interview.
  • Talking too little. Not answering questions fully or just using one word or two is poor communication. Always be responsive and answer interview questions succinctly and completely.
  • Using fuzzy facts. Even though you have a resume in hand, most companies also require you to fill out their employment applications. Often you can use your resume to fill in dates of previous employment, graduation dates, and previous employer and reference information. Fill out the employment application completely and professionally.
  • Giving the wrong answer. This can be a cause for you to be dismissed without further attention. When asked a question, take a brief moment to gather your thoughts and listen to the question. As an example, if you are given the job description listen, repeat keywords and phrases, and do not mention how you do not like an aspect of the job description. If the description is to cold sell and contact customers, do not tell the interviewer that you do not like cold-call sales. You can either discuss this aspect when you are hired, or you can walk away from the job.
  • Bad mouthing past employers. This is a definite mistake. Even if you had a bad experience at your last job, find something positive to say. Never under any circumstance give away your true feelings about a bad boss or a poor situation. Your words about your former company may cause the interviewer to perceive that you will talk bad this company if you are hired.
  • Not following up. Always follow up the interview with a thank-you note. Even if you do not think you will get the job, a thank you note is the polite way to end the job search with this company.
  • Hope you keep these in mind as you start your new interviewing. If anyone has any additional blunders they would like to discuss, write them up below as comments so we can discuss them and learn from each other.


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