Avoid These Common Interview Mistakes to Land the Job!

Posted April 17, 2014

Interviewing for a new job can be stressful and nerve-racking.  You know the interviewer will be taking note of your every move, so you don’t want to say or do the wrong things.  However, if you take time to prepare, you’ll avoid common mistakes and won’t have to stress out about blunders after the fact.  Here are some of the most common mistakes job candidates make during the interview process (many of them without even realizing it) and how you can avoid them.

Dressing inappropriately.
Because interviews are based so much off of first impressions, it’s essential that you look polished and professional.  Even though your attire may vary based on the type of job you’re applying for, it’s important to look well-dressed, no matter what type of company it is. If you really don’t know what you should wear and aren’t comfortable asking about the dress code, dressing business casual is your best bet.  And remember, just because an outfit is considered “dressy” or “nice” for an evening out, doesn’t mean it is okay for the office.                                           

Arriving late.
If you arrive late for an interview, you’ve already created a negative first impression of yourself.  Running late shows a lack of respect for the person interviewing you, the company, and even the position itself.  Budget enough time in your schedule so you make it to the interview five to ten minutes early.  That way, even if you hit traffic or get lost, you’ll still be on time.

Using your cell phone.
There’s nothing ruder than using your phone during an interview.  It sends a clear message to the hiring manager that getting the job is not your first priority.  To avoid the embarrassment of having your phone ring during an interview, turn it off and stow it in your bag before you walk in. Better yet, leave it in car if that’s an option.  This will help you resist the temptation to check your phone and ensure that there are no disruptions. 

Not being prepared.
Even though candidates know they’re going to be asked the usual interview questions such as, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, many candidates fail to prepare answers which makes them look unprepared and disorganized.  Every job seeker should know to prepare for basic interview questions.  This includes brushing up on your knowledge of the organization interviewing you.  Spend time online researching the company, and come to the interview with enough insight to keep a conversation going when asked what you know about the organization. 

It’s also important to come to the interview with a list of questions you want to ask the interviewer.  Nothing demonstrates unpreparedness more than not having anything to ask when the interviewer asks if you have any questions.  Having questions prepared shows your interest and motivation to learn more about the job position, as well as the company.

Talking too much.
Hiring managers understand that candidates may be a little nervous, but it’s important to speak confidently and avoid rambling on just to fill the time.  Rambling is often an indication of not fully understanding the question or being able to formulate thoughtful, succinct answers.  There’s nothing worse than interviewing someone who talks on and on, never taking a breath.  As a rule of thumb, don’t let your responses to questions go longer than 20-30 seconds without pausing for the interviewer to chime in if they want to. Keep answers focused and to-the-point. 

Badmouthing previous employers.
Talking bad about past employers during an interviewer is a quick way to ruin any chance you have of getting the job.  It gives the employer a negative impression of you and shows low confidence.  It’s also a smaller world out there than you think, and the interviewer might know the boss that you think is an idiot.  When interviewing for a job you want to remain positive and show the employer that you can work well with multiple personalities and handle conflicts in a mature way, rather than talking bad about other people.

Ready to put your interview skills to the test? Let the experienced recruiters at All Team Staffing, help land you your next interview. We employ individuals across the country as well as across a variety of industries including but not limited to healthcare & environment, hospitality & food services, light labor, and administrative & clerical. Contact  our team of professional recruiters today, and you’ll be on the job in no time.