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Avoiding Common Interviewing Mistakes

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You might be competent in your chosen field, or maybe even excellent. However, if you don’t know how to conduct a winning interview, you may not land the job of your dreams. If you’re not getting the offers you should be, it might be time to think about ways you might be sabotaging your candidacy.


The mistakes that they make are easily correctable so let’s look at some common ones and tips on how to avoid them:



As a candidate, your attitude must be confident yet humble. You want the job and the person who controls the job should not see any arrogance which automatically turns most people off with this attitude. Be aware of the fine line between confidence and arrogance and walk it carefully.


Bad behavior during the interview

You must act interested and alert and show some enthusiasm towards your career and the opportunity you’re being presented with.  Let your voice and your mannerisms display your interest level. Avoid checking your phone or looking at your watch. Many people who really want a job believe they will come off as desperate and they try to overcompensate for this by trying to “play it cool”. It’s not a good look, either way. Just relax as best you can, be your authentic self, and let your personality shine while focusing on the best ways to demonstrate your skills and experience.


Not listening

An interviewer listens to your responses to their questions to assess your suitability. If your answers indicate that you aren’t paying attention, the game is lost right there. Ensure that your interviewer knows you’re listening, by asking appropriate questions and providing clear answers that get to the point.


Dressing inappropriately

This is a deal-breaker. The way you dress indicates your level of professionalism and how much you respect the interviewing company. Inappropriate clothing may come across as disrespectful and unprofessional. Ask your Recruiter or company connection the appropriate dress code and follow it.


Trash talking your former employers

It’s possible that you have gone through some negative experiences with your former or current employer. However, don’t let your resentments color your tone. If asked why you’re quitting, state your reason in a manner that’s truthful while avoiding telling the details in a negative way or getting emotional about the situation. Ask your recruiter for coaching in this area if you’re stumped.


Talking too much

Some candidates tend to offer more information than is strictly necessary, allowing the hiring manager to read between the lines. There’s no need to discuss personal issues or talk negatively about your previous employer. Communicate only what is necessary and keep it positive.


Not being on the same wavelength

Let your interviewer lead the conversation. Don’t talk too much and don’t answer questions that were not asked. Follow their lead and mimic their tone and pacing. To develop rapport, be attentive to their body language and facial expressions. If you are unsure of an answer you provide, ask them if that answered their question or if you should elaborate.


Winging it

If you aren’t great in interviews or find you are never making it to second or third rounds, it may be time you enlist the services of a Career Coach. They can put you through mock interviews and educate you on how to handle various interviewing styles. It will provide insight into both your interviewing strengths and weaknesses. The practice will help your confidence level during your next interview.


Have you ever bombed an interview? What would you have done differently?