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How to Avoid These 18 Interview Mistakes and What to Do Instead

How to Avoid These 18 Interview Mistakes and What to Do Instead

Interviews are a valuable part of looking for a job for both the person being interviewed and the person doing the hiring. Time management, confidence, and body language are all important parts of a good interview, but some candidates make big mistakes at their interviews. If you want to get the job and make a good first impression, don’t do things that people often do wrong in interviews. This article talks about why job interviews are important and gives a list of 18 common mistakes that people make during interviews, along with tips on how to avoid them. How to Avoid These 18 Interview Mistakes

Why talking to people is important

Interviews are important because they are often the first time someone goes to work and meets anyone from the office. The interview gives the hiring manager a chance to see how the person handles conversation and stress, and it gives the person being interviewed a chance to decide if the job is right for them. Often, more than one person from the company will be there. This shows the candidate how the company works and gives him or her a chance to ask questions.

18 mistakes people make at interviews and what they should do instead

Whether this is your first interview or you’ve had many over the course of your career, it’s a good idea to review what is expected of you in terms of how you look, how prepared you are, and how you act. Study this list of 18 common interview mistakes and think about what you could do instead to have a successful interview:

  • Not getting ready
  • Less research
  • Choosing the wrong outfit
  • Arriving late
  • How to Make Phone Calls
  • Asking obvious questions
  • Saying bad things
  • Oversharing
  • not preparing to get paid
  • Assuming poor body language
  • Lying
  • Not being sure of yourself
  • Asking no questions
  • Going on tangents
  • hard to make plans around
  • looking unorganized
  • not staying on top of social media
  • Not getting ready

Don’t go to the interview if you don’t know anything about the company or the job. Before you go to an interview, hiring managers want you to know a little bit about the company and the job.

Instead, since you will almost always know about a job interview in advance, use the time between the invitation and the interview to learn about the company, make documents like a list of references, and think of questions to ask.

Less research

Before the interview, don’t forget to research the company, the job, and the duties of the job.

Instead, know who the important people are in the company and how the job you’re interviewing for fits into the organization as a whole.

Choosing the wrong outfit

At a job interview, don’t wear too little or too much. If you dress too casually for an office job, like wearing jeans, or too formally for a camp counselor job, like wearing a suit, it shows you don’t know what the job is about.

Instead, think about what you would normally wear to work in that job and add something to that outfit. For example, if you usually wear slacks and a button-down shirt or blouse to work, add a tie or a professional jacket to the outfit for the interview.

Arriving late

Don’t come to the interview later than the time that was set.

Instead, you should get there a few minutes early. If you get to the interview 10 minutes early, you should have time to park and find the right office before the meeting starts.

How to Make Phone Calls

You shouldn’t look at your phone during the interview. This could show that you don’t care what’s being said and that you have more important things to do.

Turn off your phone or set it to “do not disturb” mode. You should wear a watch if you want to know what time it is.

Asking obvious questions

Don’t ask questions that are obvious or that the interviewer has already answered, because that shows you didn’t listen.

Instead, think of your own questions about how the job or company works. If the hiring manager has already answered one of your questions, you don’t need to ask it again.

Saying bad things

Don’t say bad things about jobs, companies, bosses, or coworkers you’ve had in the past.

Instead, talk about your past jobs in a positive and upbeat way, even if you had problems there.


Don’t tell the interviewer things about yourself that they didn’t ask for or that have nothing to do with the job or position.

Instead, talk about stories or facts from your life if someone asks for them or if they are important to the conversation.

not preparing to get paid

Don’t talk about pay in front of the hiring manager, but also don’t go into the interview unprepared to talk about pay and benefits.

Instead, come up with a range of salaries to share with them if they ask, and be ready to negotiate if they do.

Assuming poor body language

Don’t look down, hide your hands, or fidget, because the hiring manager might think that you are uncomfortable or not telling the truth.

Instead, smile, look the hiring manager in the eye, and keep your hands in front of you to show that you are honest and sure of yourself.


Don’t lie about your work history, education, or anything else on your resume to make it look better than it is.

Instead, be honest with the hiring manager about who you are and what you’ve done. If you know that the hiring manager will ask you about parts of your work history that might be hard to talk about, you should think of answers ahead of time.

Not being sure of yourself

Don’t move around, give credit to other people for your work, or get mad when someone asks you a question. If you do any of these things, you might not be sure of your work.

Instead, think about what you do well and what skills you have that make you a good candidate for the job. Take deep breaths and stand still to show that you’re sure of yourself.

Asking no questions

When asked if you have any more questions at the end of the interview, don’t say “I don’t have any.”

Instead, have a few questions ready about the company or the position. This shows the interviewer that you are interested in the job and want to learn more about it.

Going on tangents

When answering a hiring manager’s question, don’t talk about things that have nothing to do with the job or are about you.

Stick to the subject instead. Make sure that your answers answer the question.

hard to make plans around

Don’t be rigid when the hiring manager calls to set up the interview.

Instead, try to find as much time as you can to help the company. Even if you have to cancel something else, you should still meet when the business is open.

looking unorganized

Avoid not having your papers in order, looking for a pen, or not knowing where your digital documents are.

Instead, take care of everything before you go to the interview. Put your application and any samples of your work in an easy-to-grab folder or briefcase. If you want to share digital work, bring it up on your laptop ahead of time so that all you have to do to see it is open the screen.

not staying on top of social media

Don’t put photos and posts on your public social media profile that don’t make you look good or aren’t professional. A lot of companies look at someone’s social media profiles before hiring them.

You should instead strengthen your privacy settings. If you’re not sure, get rid of anything that the company could mistakenly see as unprofessional.

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