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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
- 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
- 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
- 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.