Common interview mistakes that mean you DON’T get the job


You’ve sent off your CV.

You’ve impressed with your cover letter.

Maybe you’ve had a telephone interview that’s gone well.

But now it’s time for clincher: the face to face interview

Who hasn’t been through a case of the pre-interview jitters? After all, it is the most important stage of the recruitment process and ultimately the wrong move can cost you the job. And now you don’t have your resume or your cover letter to hide behind, it’s just you. So yes there is a lot of pressure and this can in turn lead to making a number of disastrous mistakes which will make sure you DON’T get the job and that is what we want to avoid.

There are lots of things you can do to aim for the perfect interview but now I’m going to focus on what NOT to do. So, here is my list of the top 5 worst interview mistakes:


#1: Arrive late

Chances are if you arrive late you won’t get the job. Sounds unfair but, in reality, short of an actual crisis there is no excuse for lateness. Get directions to the interview; even do the journey beforehand to make sure you know exactly where you are going. If the worst comes to worst and you know you are going to be late, call ahead and let the interviewer know. If you just turn up late with no real reason or a rubbish excuse then you might as well not turn up at all.


#2: Dress inappropriately

A first impression is made in a split-second when you meet someone for the first time. Although many people won’t admit it, they will make a snap judgement of you within the first few seconds and a first impression is incredibly difficult to change. So, don’t turn up in casual clothes. Even if you know the people at work sometimes wear more casual clothes you don’t go to the interview in anything else but professional attire. Dress like the person you want to be at the peak of your career, not just the job you are applying to, and definitely not like someone who just got out of bed, threw on whatever clothes they found first and just turned up.


#3: No preparation 

I can almost guarantee that your interviewer will ask you what you know about the company. If you don’t have an answer because you haven’t done research or prepared anything then they will know straight away. The “wing-it” approach isn’t going to work. You will just come across as lazy and un-interested in the job (two characteristics interviewers aren’t particularly keen on). I’m not saying you have to learn everything about the company’s history and all its detailed statistics and figures etc but as I have mentioned in previous posts, failing to prepare really is preparing to fail.

#4: Act like a zombie

The interview is a stressful time and it’s natural to be nervous. But the interviewer knows that; they expect it. However, don’t just look at the floor, never making eye contact or smiling and generally making it an uncomfortable situation. A lack of enthusiasm is a very unattractive trait in an interview. They want to know that you are motivated, interested and enthusiastic about doing the job, so don’t let them think otherwise by acting like a zombie. However, caution must be taken. Over-confidence and talking all the time is equally bad, if not worse, and employers hate it. So don’t be too shy and overly quiet but make sure you’re not too loud or appear arrogant.


#5: Don’t ask any questions

Just like the interviewer is guaranteed to ask you what you know about the company, they are also certain to conclude the interview with “do you have any questions?” If you say no, you’re ruining your chances of getting the job. If you’ve got no questions you give the impression that you are uninterested in the job. You can prepare some questions before the interview to make sure you can avoid this problem. Another caution though: don’t ask about salary straight away, the interviewer will bring it up and you don’t want to appear 100% focused on the importance of money.


So that’s my top 5 classic interview mistakes that you need to avoid. If you do, then you stand a better chance of interview success.

So, good luck!


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