Are You Making These 5 Unforgivable Interview Mistakes?

Posted May 6, 2019, by Elesha

Interview blunders are hard to come back from. You’ve got one chance to nail a great first impression and WOW your potential employer. But what if your interview is more fail than nail, then perhaps you’re making these 5 unforgivable interview mistakes… 

Arriving Late (It’s A No Brainer) 

Better late than never, right? Not when it comes to an interview. Arriving 15 minutes late, with no prior notice and a coffee in one hand is one of the biggest interview mistakes you can make.

Do everything within your power to ensure you arrive on time. Plan your commute time and route ahead and always add an extra buffer of time to allow for unexpected delays. If it usually takes you 30 minutes to get from home to the area the interview will be, allow 50 minutes. Set out your interview outfit the night before to avoid any last minute wardrobe angst that might cause a delay.

We get it, even the best-laid plans can go astray and sometimes a late arrival is out of our control. In this case, call ahead to let the employer know you’re running late, approximately how long you’ll be and the reason. Take a minute to compose yourself in the waiting area or before stepping into the interview so you’re not rushing in a frazzled mess.

Ranting About Your Previous Employer

Getting fired up in the interview bad-mouthing your old company and dragging out stories of office politics can ruin your job prospects. An interview isn’t the place to rant about the problems in your old workplace, you’ll present yourself as unprofessional and even emotionally immature. Not really a winning first impression.

If you left your previous employer on bad terms or dues to a dysfunctional workplace, have a clear plan about how you’ll answer the question ‘why did you leave your previous role?’

Don’t give unnecessary information, be honest within reason and be concise in your explanation in an objective, non-emotional way.

Focus on the positives; you’re on the lookout for a great new role and you’ve landed yourself the interview! Put the past aside and focus on the exciting new chapter ahead.

Having No Clue About The Organisation

It’s one of the most straightforward interview questions you can bet you’ll be asked;

What do you know about our company?

If you haven’t done your homework, even the basics, you’ll get stuck on an answer and clearly show you’ve done zero research on the organisation. This is a big interview mistake. Why would an employer consider hiring someone who hasn’t even bothered to read the ‘About Us’ page of the company website?

Prior to the interview review information publicly available about your potential employer; check out the website for a mission statement, About Us page and key executive details. Take a few notes to have on hand if you need a refresher in the interview – you may still have a mind blank moment even if you’ve prepared! Make sure you check out the company’s social media; LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Lying About Your Experience

Sure, it might be tempting to land yourself the interview but getting caught out in a lie is one of the biggest interview mistakes you can make.

Here’s the thing, one ‘little’ lie inevitably leads to bigger, more complex lies. Let’s say you lied about one skill that was part of the ‘must have’ capabilities of the job. What will you do in the interview when asked about that one skill; admit you faked it, or lie a little more? Now imagine you keep the lie going and actually get the job, what a mess to clear up when it becomes quickly apparent that you have no clue what you’re doing!

Not telling the truth about former employees or your qualifications will also be found out eventually; background checks have never been easier. Hello, internet and social media.

Not Asking Any Questions At The Interview

You’re the one in the hot seat but don’t forget the interview is your chance to ask questions too and not doing might actually cost you the job. This is one of the interview mistakes that separates an average seeker from a stand out candidate.

Usually, as the employer is wrapping things up, you’ll be asked if you have any questions for them about the company or role. Having 2 or 3 interview questions to ask is ideal, but it’s smart to have a few more prepared just in case the information has already been covered in the interview.

Have questions lined up both about the job itself and the organisation in general. This will give you a good idea about how your role will function day to day and show your interested in finding out more about the culture and what the future holds for the organisation.

If you’ve landed a great interview, congrats! We hope this guide has been a little refresher on interview mistakes and how to put your best foot forward. Good luck!


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