Don’t Make These Common Interview Mistakes

Read here to learn what not to do at your next interview.

If you have an interview scheduled, you’ve probably been preparing and researching what you should do to be successful, but what about those things you should avoid? Read below to see what you can do to make sure you don’t accidentally make some of these common interview mistakes.


Be on the ball.

One of the most common mistakes applicants make during interviews is not being prepared. Maybe they didn’t look up directions ahead of time, and they show up to the interview late. Perhaps they didn’t research the company and are caught off guard when the hiring manager asks for your opinion. Being unprepared could also mean candidates didn’t thoroughly read the job description or didn’t practice commonly asked interview questions. To succeed at your interview, make sure you’re ready, both by researching and practicing ahead of time, and by having the supplies you need like your resume and a pen and paper for taking notes. Arriving prepared will present you as professional, and will make you feel calmer about the upcoming interview.


Have your say.

While making sure you’re prepared is pretty straightforward, the other interview mistake that candidates sometimes make is what they say (or don’t say!). Often, applicants are so nervous during the interview that they don’t listen closely to cues and questions from the interviewer. It seems obvious, but if the interviewer asks you a question, make sure you’re answering it. Also, be cautious of how much you say. While you want to give an answer that adequately demonstrates your skills and attributes, you don’t want to say too much. The hiring manager is interested in learning about how you would fit into the position and company, but he or she doesn’t need to hear your whole life story. Throughout the interview, be sure you’re being yourself and being honest about what you can contribute.


Have your act together.

Finally, some candidates come prepared and know just what to say, but their actions aren’t professional. They might not be dressed appropriately, be looking at their phone during the interview, or appear disinterested. Occasionally, applicants will bring kids, drinks, or even food to an interview. It’s best to avoid this. Leave family at home and your phone in the car. Make sure you’re making eye contact during the interview and try not to fidget too much.


If you really want to set yourself apart from other job applicants, follow-up after the interview with a card or email to say thank you. It’s easy to be nervous before an interview, but just remember an interview just means you’re one step closer to a new job. For interview tips, or to learn more about finding a job with Penmac, call your local office today.