10 Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid

Tips for Job Seekers

Interviews are the time to put your best foot forward and hopefully make a great first impression with your prospective employer. If you are new to interviewing, or you’ve been in a few interviews that haven’t seemed to lead anywhere, there’s a chance you’re making a few of these common interview mistakes. Here at Recruitment Partners, we want our candidates to find their dream jobs, so we’re here to help you ace the interview by not making any of these common interview mistakes.

1. Showing Up Late

Showing up late is a huge mistake that can cost someone an edge during an interview. Whether your interview is in-person or virtual, be sure to arrive on time and ready to perform the interview as soon as it is intended to start. If you’re just walking through the door at 11am and that’s when your interview is supposed to start, consider yourself late. If your interview is virtual, be sure to log into the online platform a few minutes early to check your audio and sound quality.

2. Showing Up Too Early

Much like arriving to your interview late, arriving too early can also be a mistake. Arriving at your interview before your interviewer is ready to receive you can put unnecessary stress on your prospective employer. If you arrive too early your interviewer may be in the middle of something, they’ll either feel rushed or frustrated that their concentration was interrupted.

3. Poor Body Language

It’s important to sit up straight with your shoulders back as well as keeping an open appearance to your body language. You want to ensure that your body language is friendly and awake, as slouching and fidgeting could come across like you’re bored or not actually interested in the role.

4. Checking Your Phone

Rule number one of interviews: turn your phone off! Unless there is an actual risk of emergency, it’s a good idea to even leave your phone in your car. This way, you won’t be tempted to check notifications, look things up, or use your phone as an anchor for nerves. Even touching your phone will make prospective employers think you’re not taking the interview seriously.

5. Not Dressing Appropriately

Dressing for the interview includes being well groomed (clean shaven or manicured facial hair, clean hair, tidy makeup, showering, etc.) and wearing clothes that are appropriate for the role. You don’t want to be overdressed and you also don’t want to be underdressed. A good way to learn how the company dresses is to check their social media or even scout out their office before the interview. If this isn’t an option, business attire is always your safest choice.

6. Not Doing Any Research

Coming to an interview unprepared is a huge mistake. Before your interview, be sure to prepare yourself by looking into the company, the industry, and reviewing the job description. Not only will this prepare you for the interview as you’ll likely be asked what interested you about the company and role, but you’ll also have a better understanding of the company’s values, so you can update your answers to fit what the company is looking for.

7. Not Asking Questions

If the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, saying you don’t might be a huge mistake. Before your interview come up with a few questions you have about the company and role to keep in the back of your mind. You want to show that you care about more than just getting any job, that it’s about this specific job. Asking questions is also a good time to ensure that the company is a good fit for you. If what the company values doesn’t match what you value, it may not be a great job to take.

8. Being Overly Negative About Past Employers

We’ve all been there, an interviewer asks us why we want to leave our current company and the answer, in reality, is because you hate your boss, your coworkers, the job itself, etc. Although you want to be honest in an interview, a first meeting is not the time to talk negatively about your past employers, it’s important to practice a neutral stance and ensure that you show yourself to be mature and reliable.

9. Opening the Interview with Money Talk

Although your compensation is an important part of whether or not you take a job, you shouldn’t discuss money or time off immediately, unless asked. Salary, benefits, and vacation time are better left discussed in later conversations and interviews, not the opening meeting. Bringing up money right away can be off-putting to the interviewer and will often mean you don’t get a follow-up interview.

10. Not Sending a Thank You

A final mistake many people make in the interview process is not sending a follow-up email thanking the interviewer for their time. After your interview, be sure to send a polite email expressing your continued interest in the position and thanking the company for their consideration and time spent with you. It’s important to not follow up with too much fervor as that can leave a bad impression, but a simple thank you and a single follow-up one week later is appropriate and often appreciated.

Recruitment Partners wants to help you make the best first impression with your interviews! Want to dig even deeper into interviews? Check out our free interview guide that covers the top red and green flags to look out for in an interview!

Our team of expert recruiters are here to help you find your dream job! If you have questions about any of our open positions, please contact us!