38 Deadly Interview Mistakes to Avoid

38 Deadly Interview Mistakes to Avoid

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

dunceI’ve been doing YouTube videos about job search for more than a decade. One series I’ve done has been about interview mistakes (or as I refer to them, “Stupid Interview Mistakes”) where I share my opinions about the things people do on interviews that prove so costly and why they are so deadly. I’ve been keeping a list that has become too long so I’ve decided to release them as one post.

Here are 38 less obvious but deadly mistakes people make in job interviews:

  1. Not doing enough research on the company and role beforehand. Failing to thoroughly research the company and position can make you seem unprepared and disinterested. Go in informed.
  2. Failing to practice and prepare answers to common questions. Don’t wing it
  3. Showing up late. Arriving late, not managing time within the interview effectively, or exceeding allotted time for responses can show a lack of respect for others’ schedules.
  4. Poor body language: Slouching, avoiding eye contact, or fidgeting can convey nervousness or disengagement.
  5. Having a weak handshake. Grip firmly and make eye contact.
  6. Poor body language: Slouching, avoiding eye contact, or fidgeting can convey nervousness or disengagement. Sit up straight and look alert.
  7. Fidgeting or playing with your hair/clothes. Sit still and avoid nervous ticks.
  8. Bringing up salary or benefits too soon. Wait for the employer to raise the topic first.
  9. Appearing desperate or over-eager. Be confident and calm.
  10. Trash talking previous employers or managers. Badmouthing the competition. Take the high road. Stay positive.
  11. Checking your phone. Forgetting to silence your phone and it rings mid-interview. Embarrassing! Silence it and stay focused.
  12. Over-sharing irrelevant personal details. While it’s important to build rapport, oversharing personal details unrelated to the job can create an unprofessional image. Keep it professional.
  13. Underdressing for the role. Dressing too casually or not adhering to the company’s dress code can demonstrate a lack of professionalism and respect. Dress one level above the dress code.
  14. Having spelling errors on your resume. Proofread thoroughly.
  15. Getting into arguments with the interviewer. Stay poised even if provoked.
  16. Asking no questions. Always have some thoughtful questions ready.
  17. Not listening attentively: Failing to actively listen and respond to the interviewer’s questions can lead to missed opportunities to showcase your skills. Talking too much or interrupting. Practice active listening.
  18. Appearing distracted or bored. Be engaged and interested.
  19. Making excuses or lying. Take responsibility for your history.
  20. Getting too personal or telling inappropriate jokes. Filter what you say.
  21. Communicating in a condescending or aggressive way. Be positive and collaborative.
  22. Answering only with yes/no answers. Elaborate to prove capabilities.
  23. Not following up after the interview. Send a thank you and reiterate your interest.
  24. Trying too hard to be their friend versus a professional. There are boundaries.
  25. Speaking too fast: Rapid speech can make it difficult for interviewers to understand you clearly and might indicate nervousness or lack of confidence.
  26. Lack of enthusiasm: Failing to demonstrate genuine passion and excitement for the role can make you appear uninterested or indifferent.
  27. Not asking thoughtful questions: Failing to ask well-thought-out questions about the company or role can give the impression that you lack interest or initiative.
  28. Over-reliance on technical jargon: Using excessive technical language without ensuring the interviewer understands can alienate them and hinder effective communication.
  29. Not showcasing transferable skills: Neglecting to highlight relevant skills gained from previous experiences, even if they are in different fields, can limit your chances of success.
  30. Inability to articulate achievements: Failing to clearly articulate your accomplishments and the impact they had can diminish their significance in the eyes of the interviewer.
  31. Over-rehearsing answers: Memorizing responses word-for-word can come across as robotic and insincere.
  32. Rambling or being too verbose: Going off on tangents or providing long-winded answers can make it challenging for interviewers to follow your points.
  33. Lack of humility: Arrogance or overconfidence can be off-putting to interviewers and suggest an inability to work well with others.
  34. Being too passive or timid: Failing to assert yourself or showcase confidence in your abilities may lead interviewers to doubt your competence.
  35. Not addressing potential red flags: Ignoring potential concerns, such as gaps in employment, can raise suspicions and prevent you from addressing them proactively.
  36. Weak follow-up: Neglecting to send a personalized and timely thank-you note after the interview can allow you to be forgotten
  37. Failure to establish rapport: Neglecting to build rapport with the interviewer can make it difficult for them to envision you as part of their team.
  38. Not showing how you care about your work.

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People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careers easier. ThoseJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter things can involve job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

Schedule a discovery call at my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2600 episodes.

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