Common Interview Mistakes

In this video, you will learn about:

 10 common interview mistakes

 What poor body language is and how it influences your chances of getting an offer

 Why it’s essential to be prepared to answer questions about the company, role, & yourself

 Why revealing too much about yourself is not the best idea

 What a weak delivery looks like and what it means for you

 What makes an interviewer think you’re not serious about the job

 And much more!


Some people celebrate the chance to interview, knowing they can build a connection through talking with a person much more effectively than through paper. For others, the interview stage of the interview process is the most daunting. After all, meeting strangers in a position of authority who evaluate and judge you on your appearance, body language, and the ability to sell yourself can be a formidable challenge. But it’s really more of what you’ve already done to get to this point. It’s just a new format. With knowledge, skills, and practice, anyone can ace an interview! In this series of videos, we’ll be discussing the job interview.

The purpose of a job interview is to show the employer you’re a great candidate for the job, to learn more about the job and the company, including the company culture, to explain your career ambitions and how the role fits in your plan, to demonstrate your communication skills and if it’s a working interview, to show other relevant skills and knowledge, to address any questions or concerns the employer has about you as a candidate and to convince the employer you will add value to the company

Let’s move on to Common Job Interview Mistakes. We’ll look at 10 mistakes, which fall into 3 categories: behavioral mistakes, preparation mistakes, and communication exchange mistakes. You’ll learn details about the mistake and what it means for the employer.


Behavioral Mistakes


Mistake #1: The candidate has bad etiquette 

That means that the candidate:

  • Doesn’t hold the door 
  • Tries to impress certain people & neglects others in lower positions in the interview or isn’t polite to others in the office like the receptionist 
  • Doesn’t listen; talk too much 
  • Looks at phone or worse, noises come from their phone 
  • Shows up late 
  • Doesn’t initiate or engage in small talk 
  • Interrupts other people while they’re talking


What does this mean for an employer?

  • Seems Impolite
  • Feel offended 
  • Could be entitled 
  • Doesn’t value their time 
  • Timid and lacks confidence 
  • Could be hard to work with


Mistake #2: The candidate has poor body language

That means:

  • The candidate has a weak or overly firm handshake 
  • Doesn’t feel a connection with the other person
  • Doesn’t give eye contact 
  • Doesn’t smile


What does this mean for an employer?

  • Lacks confidence or has too much of it 
  • Isn’t friendly or warm 
  • Can’t trust this person 
  • Too comfortable


Mistake #3: The candidate’s appearance is inappropriate 

Depending on where the applicant is interviewing, some of the items in this list may be faux pas: 

  • The applicant is underdressed E.g. Wearing jeans, revealing blouse, or sneakers
  • Poor hygiene: dirty hair, odor, nails aren’t trimmed 
  • Strong Perfume or Cologne 
  • Tattoos and piercings are on display


How would this come across to an employer?

  • They won’t fit in here 
  • I couldn’t put them in front of a client looking (or smelling) like that 
  • They’re not seriously interested in working for us 
  • We might have a hard time getting this person to follow our dress code

So we’ve seen behavioral mistakes related to etiquette, body language, and appearance. Now let’s talk about:


Preparation Mistakes


Mistake #4: The candidate doesn’t know enough about the company or role

That means:

  • The applicant can’t answer questions about the company, e.g. it’s history, vision, structure 
  • Applicant answers questions in a way that shows don’t understand all of what’s expected in the role 
  • The applicant asks questions that make it clear they lack knowledge about the role or company, which they could have found through research


What does this mean for an employer?

  • It seems the applicant is unprepared 
  • The person lacks initiative 
  • The applicant has just learned about the company because they’re looking for a job; no long-held interest in working for the company
  • If the applicant doesn’t know all that the position entails, they probably wouldn’t thrive in the role


Mistake #5: The candidate isn’t able to answer questions adequately

That means:

  • The applicant doesn’t provide adequate answers to questions on topics like: 
  • past experience 
  • technical knowledge 
  • employment gaps 
  • future plans 
  • The applicant freezes up when asked a question they don’t know


How would this come across to an employer?

  • The person is really nervous and it’s unclear if they have the skills & knowledge needed
  • The person didn’t take the interview seriously; didn’t prepare enough 
  • The person doesn’t know the answers to these questions; doesn’t have the knowledge needed for the role 
  • The person lied about some experience listed on their resume

So preparation mistakes could mean everything from being unable to answer the employer’s questions to an inadequate understanding of the company or role. 


Communication Exchange Mistakes

Mistake #6: The candidate reveals too much about themselves

That means:

  • The candidate acts like the interviewer is their friend, saying things like “You know how it is.” 
  • Shares unnecessary personal details during the interview
  • Engages in small talk with the receptionist in on topics that are unprofessional, controversial or distasteful, like dating patterns, money problems, or political preferences, This sort of mistake is more common once an applicant is confident they’ll get the job 


What does this mean for an employer?

  • They determine the applicant is overly confident about getting the job 
  • The applicant seems disrespectful 
  • Don’t really like the applicant after some of their comments 
  • The applicant lacks professionalism


Mistake #7: The delivery is weak

That means: 

  • The candidate’s responses are too brief or too long
  • It seems the candidate is reciting from a script, which is more common for those new to interviewing or non-native English speakers 
  • The responses aren’t focused or delivered in a structured way 
  • The candidate doesn’t fully answer the question or answers it the wrong way because they didn’t understand it


A weak delivery would lead an employer to believe the candidate:

  • Is nervous 
  • Confused by what the applicant is saying
  • Unclear if the applicant has the background needed 
  • Verbal communication isn’t a strong point for the applicant, perhaps including their English skills