10 Deadly Interview Mistakes: What NOT to do at a Job Interview

You’ve handed in your job application and received a call back about the position you wanted. Now it’s time for a crucial step in the hiring process: the interview. Abbey Placements does dozens of interviews a week; we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, no matter what position you’re applying for.

As you prepare to present yourself to your potential future employer, it’s important to remember what an interview is for. Your interviewer already knows the basics about your credentials based on your application; now is the time for them to gather more insight into your personality, your abilities and whether you are a good match for the position. It’s also an opportunity for you to determine if the position is a good match for your own goals and abilities.

You may only get one shot to make the impression you want. While putting your best foot forward, make sure not to make any of these ten deadly interview mistakes:

1. Arriving late.
If you can’t be punctual when you’re supposed to be presenting your best self, your employer may have doubts that you’ll be a reliable worker. Make sure you have good directions and reliable transportation, and arrive between five and fifteen minutes early.

2. Dressing inappropriately.
Your attire for the interview should be similar to what you expect to wear on the job, or even a step up. Make sure your attire is clean and professional and that you practice good hygiene.

3. Lacking confidence.
Use basic communication skills. Use a firm handshake, sit up straight and make eye contact.

4. Asking, “What do you do here?”
Did you apply for this job or not? Do your research ahead of time so you won’t waste the interviewer’s time.

5. Talking about wages at the beginning of the interview.
While it’s acceptable to discuss wages at the end of the interview, bringing this question up too early is tacky.

6. Overconfidence.
Boasting about your qualifications won’t do you any favors; the interviewer will ask what they need to know about your experience and abilities. Don’t exaggerate accomplishments that you can’t back up with reasonable proof.

7. Not responding to questions clearly and concisely.
When asked a question, don’t give a rambling answer. On the other hand, avoid simple “yes” and “no.” Provide useful information in a concise manner.

8. Too much or too little enthusiasm.
You may be desperate for the job, but try your best not to show overexcitement, as it can hurt your credibility. Likewise, don’t be under-enthused; indicate that you are interested in the position in a calm and controlled way.

9. Calling the interviewer the wrong name.
Learn the interviewer’s name at the beginning and don’t forget it!

10. Saying something negative about your previous job.
Maybe you hated your previous employer, but your new employer doesn’t need to know about it. They may wonder if you’ll be bashing them in the future.


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