Worst Interview Mistakes: What You Shouldn’t Do

Getting an interview for a job these days is harder than ever. Your resume may never reach the hiring person’s desk if it first does not pass the software program that scans for keywords. If you do everything right, your resume will land at the top of the pile, and you will receive an interview. Now, the trick is to make a great impression during the interview so you can land the job. 

Sadly, far too many people make one of the many common job interview mistakes that cost them that coveted position. 

Knowing these mistakes now can save you from making them when sitting in front of someone who can provide you with an employment opportunity. Knowing how to behave, what to say – and what not to say, and how your clothes, appearance, and attitude can impact decision-making will define you as a qualified candidate. 

Why Do We Make Mistakes In the Interview?

One of the most stressful things people can do is interview for a job. You want to make a good impression, but sometimes your nerves, lack of preparation, or disinterest can get the better of you.

We are all only human; mistakes happen. When they do, you can only vow to try harder the next time. Learning from your mistakes is crucial, as that is how you grow. 

Here are some common reasons why we make mistakes in interviews:

  • Lack of motivation and interest

You might think that one does not make sense because why would someone apply for a job they had no interest in? The answer is often that the person needs any job, so they randomly apply for any position. Lack of motivation or interest shows during the interview. Unless the company is desperate for a “body” to fill a position, chances are you will not get the job. 

  • Being too nervous and anxious

Nerves are a big problem, especially if the job is one you really want and you are desperate to make a good impression. It is easy to seem overly anxious in that scenario. Also, if it is your first interview (ever or in a long time) or you are afraid you are too old for the position, that can add to your nerves. Our internal state, hormones, and health can affect our thoughts and activity. For example, HGH deficiency can make us anxious, irritable, and even depressed. Discover Genotropin for sale for yourself to improve confidence in stressful situations.

  • Low self-esteem 

If you do not have confidence in yourself, you cannot convey that during the interview. Low self-esteem can keep you from getting the job. Make a list of all your positive attributes and repeat them to yourself over and over to help boost your confidence before your interview. 

  • Inexperience

If you have never interviewed for a job, making mistakes the first few times you sit in front of an interviewer is natural. All the preparation and reading about interviewing still cannot prepare you for what it will feel like when the time comes. You may want to practice with someone before that first interview to help you feel more comfortable with the process. 

Mistakes to Avoid During Interviews

Putting your best foot forward is never more critical than during that first job interview. That is when a prospective employer sizes you up to determine if you are a good fit for the company.

Making a good first impression is of the utmost importance. Hiring personnel can overlook nervousness, lack of experience, and anxiety. However, they will likely not tolerate your being unprepared to answer questions, sloppy appearance, or arriving late (without a reasonable excuse). Also, remember everyone in that building might work for the company. Be polite and friendly on your way in and your way out. 

Here are some of the top mistakes to avoid during your job interviews:

  • Arriving late – or too early

If you are going to the business for the interview, you need to plan your travel route in advance, accounting for any possible delays with traffic. It is better to get there early and find a nearby coffee shop to sit in to pass that time than to arrive late because of traffic problems. Arriving ten minutes before the interview time is ideal – fifteen if you want to pop into a restroom to compose yourself and fix your hair, clothes, etc. (recommended).

If the interview is virtual, check your technology ahead of time to ensure that you log in at the appropriate time and without any distractions or problems. There are no excuses for being late to virtual interviews. 

If you are late by some remote chance, apologize immediately, give a straightforward reason, and focus on making a better impression during the remainder of the interview. 

  • Dressing inappropriately

It cannot be stressed enough that first impressions matter. How you dress is crucial. Research the company to learn more about them. Come in a suit or business attire if it is a professional office. Casual companies may have a more relaxed style of dress. However, being overdressed for an interview is always better than being underdressed. Leave your jeans and T-shirts at home. 

Ensure your clothes are clean, well-pressed, and without wrinkles or stains. Do not dress as if you are going out on the town. 

Along with this is not wearing excessive jewelry, makeup, perfume, or cologne. Dousing yourself with scents can make breathing difficult for the other person. Also, do not come looking like you were out all night partying the night before. Be well-rested. 

  • Knowing nothing about the job or company

Research, research, research! The more you know about the company you are applying to, the easier the interview will go. You want to bring up some facts about the company that you admire. Familiarize yourself with the position so that you can point out ways you believe you can make a difference. Be prepared with achievement examples that pertain to the position or company. 

Do not talk too much about the company, as that will make it seem like you are trying too hard. Just a few key points you want to bring up, although you need to know more than that. Rehearse questions and answers in advance to help you feel prepared and comfortable.

  • Talking too much or too little  

Rambling on and on can be a problem. Focus on one topic at a time, limiting your comments to only what is pertinent. Then be quiet and let the interviewer take over. Be prepared to answer questions with more than a yes or no answer – and without giving out too much unnecessary information. 

If you blank out about something, ask for a moment to gather your thoughts. Interviewers understand nerves. Practice some questions and answers beforehand so you are prepared to share examples of previous experience.

Also, avoid cliches such as “I am a critical thinker or natural leader.” Generic buzzwords do not get the job. Remember, when it comes to sharing information, quality over quantity. 

  • Speaking negatively about past jobs

Never speak ill of a previous employer or colleague – no matter how terrible they might have been. Your prospective employer will think you might do the same to them someday. If there were specific challenges on that job, focus on what you did to overcome them in a positive light.

  • Not having any weaknesses

Everyone has weaknesses or failures. Be prepared with one answer you can explain – nothing that could cost you the job, such as failing to follow up with a client and lost the account. Rehearse a way of discussing your weakness as a positive by highlighting what you are doing to overcome it. 

If asked about a past mistake you made, be prepared with an answer, what you did to correct it, and what you have learned to help you avoid having it happen again.

Also, if you make any mistakes during your conversation, acknowledge them and move forward. 

  • Lying on your resume

Never lie on your resume; it will come back to haunt you. Also, review your resume before your interview to know the facts you put down. Bring a printed copy in a folder so you look professional. Plus, you have it in case the interviewer asks for one. 

  • Talking too much about yourself or sharing personal information

Do not start bragging about your accomplishments, talking about your last date, or sharing other personal information that has nothing to do with the job you are applying for. The interviewer wants to learn if you are a good fit for the position and company, not your favorite food. Also, do not act as if the interviewer is your best friend. There will be plenty of time to develop friendships once you have the job. Keep it professional. 

  • Not asking questions

No matter how much information the interviewer shares, you still need to ask questions about the job. Never say no when asked if you have questions. Be prepared with queries about the role you seek, growth opportunities within the company, or even the company’s goals for the future. Have a few questions prepared in case some of them have been answered.

Do not ask questions that have been covered during the interview – it will seem as though you have not been listening. Avoid asking about paid leave, raises, and sick days. It will seem that you are only focusing on money. You can ask more about benefits during a follow-up interview if you get that far. If there are financial aspects to discuss, save them for the end if you feel the interview went well. 

Your final question should be about the next steps after the interview. Be polite and casual – not too forward. Ask if there is a follow-up interview or when you might expect to hear something. Do not be pushy. 

  • Having low energy

Not partying the night before was already mentioned, but it is crucial to stress that you must display a good body image. If you appear tired or drowsy, slump in your seat, or seem disinterested, you will find yourself out the door quickly. 

Sit straight, be focused, excited, and interested in everything the interviewer says. Have a little caffeine before the interview (if necessary), but not enough to make you jittery. Smile, use hand gestures, and make eye contact. Do not fidget, play with your hair, bite your nails, or spread your legs in a casual pose. Body image is everything. 

However, do not display too much energy to the point where you seem as though you will jump out of the chair. Try to match the interviewer’s energy levels when possible. Stay composed and calm. 

  • Lack of tact and maturity 

Your age and interviewer’s may be the same or differ significantly. If you are both young, it may be tempting to speak in a very casual way. Take your cues from the interviewer as to the style of conversation. When dealing with people from an older generation, take a more professional tone of voice. No matter what, be tactful, personable, and speak with maturity. Unless you are applying for a position with a gaming company, this is not the time to talk about your latest high score on a video game. 

  • Eating or drinking during the interview

Does this even need to be said? If your mouth is dry, take a drink before the interview. Unless your interview is in a restaurant, do not eat. Also, no gum! Nothing is more distracting than someone chewing while you are speaking to them. If your interview is over a meal by some remote chance, do not order the most expensive items on the menu. Take your cues from what the other person orders. 

Also, turn OFF your phone – do not put it on silent! You do not want it to start vibrating during your interview. Put it away before you walk into the room. 

  • Giving the wrong answers when asked about salary

Chances are you will be asked what you expect. Never say it does not matter or you have not thought about it. Those are both lies. Research the position to see the industry average and be prepared with a reasonable range based on your experience. 

  • Improper follow-up

This mistake can go one of two ways: not following up or being too aggressive. 

A few hours after the interview, email your interviewer a thank you. Let them know you appreciate them taking the time to meet with you and you look forward to hearing from them. Sign it with best regards, not “love.”

Hearing back might take a few weeks, so do not start flooding their inbox with messages. If they said a few weeks during your interview, send a follow-up “touching base” email after three weeks. 


Preparation is vital to a successful interview. Without it, you narrow your success. Before the interview, step into a bathroom, look in the mirror, and tell yourself, “I’ve got this!” 

Relax and let your natural personality shine through. Dress appropriately and remember, when you look good, you will feel good. 

Remember, you got this far because the interviewer already thought you were a good candidate. Now is your chance to close the deal. Maintain good eye contact – no looking around the room, to the side, or at the floor. Smile and be polite and friendly to everyone you meet – you have no idea who they are. 

Make sure to put your best foot forward and sell yourself without being cocky or arrogant. Take ownership of your achievements but do not try to take credit for those of others. Everyone makes interview mistakes. Let your best self shine.

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