Top 7 Interview Mistakes

Are you making these interview mistakes?

1. Not Showing Up

This one is pretty obvious. You don’t get opportunities that you deliberately miss. Not showing up to your interview is not a great indicator of your abilities and professionalism.

If you are no longer interested in the position, simply call them and cancel. Don’t waste their time with not showing up. This is both unprofessional and disrespectful.

Ways to avoid this mistake:

  • Cancel at least 24 hours in advance
  • Don’t apply for jobs you’re not interested in
  • Make sure all interviews are on your calendar

2. Cancelling At The Last Minute

Cancelling at the last minute can sometimes be just as bad as not showing up! Imagine being a business representative, driving into work to interview a candidate, telling your spouse you will be home late, and then having the interviewer texting you 5 minutes before the interview to cancel.

While you can’t always avoid having to make a last-minute cancellation, you can practice professional methods of cancellations. These include sending a professionally written email apologizing for the inconvenience and explaining the situation or calling the interviewer to inform them that you will be unable to make an interview. When cancelling, it is always best to also set up a time and date when you’re next available to reschedule.

Ways to avoid this mistake:

  • Cancel at least 24 hours in advance
  • Be professional with cancelation methods – call or email

3. Arriving Late

Nothing is worse than arriving late to your first interview with a business. While traffic and road conditions may be unexpected, this tardiness is very unprofessional and can sometimes attribute to you not getting the job.

It’s always best to leave early in anticipation that you may be affected by traffic. If you get there too early, just sit in the car or outside and continue reading your prep materials. 

Ways to avoid this mistake:

  • Plan ahead of time
  • Leave early

4. Unprofessional Dress And Appearance

We hear it all the time – “First impressions mean everything”! As such, make sure when you’re going into your next interview that you’re not only mentally prepared but physically prepared.

This means wearing clean shoes, a nice outfit, and styling your hair in a style that best represents your professional qualities. The level of required clothing will vary significantly with the role you’re applying to.

If you’re interviewing at a fast-food restaurant, you can get away with Khakis, a polo, and some clean business or tennis shoes. However, you better throw away those tennis shoes and pick out a suit if you’re applying for an accountant role at the local bank.

Ways to avoid this mistake:

  • Iron your clothes
  • Get up early
  • Shower and take care of your personal appearance

5. Lack Of Confidence

Would you hire a plumber who was scratching his head and looked confused at how to operate his machinery?

Would you hire a lawyer who said well “Idk, let me consult my old textbook”? I’m assuming you said no to both of these questions… great!

Not seeming confident in your abilities may indicate that you don’t know what you’re doing. Companies are all about risk mitigation and they’re not interested in hiring someone who’s going to attribute more to their concerns.

Ways to avoid this mistake:

  • Practice and rehearse traditional interview questions
  • Practice eye-contact
  • Practice breathing and relaxation techniques

6. Overconfidence

Confidence is great but coming across too strong can be just as bad as coming across as non-confident, maybe even worse.

Don’t talk in a tone that indicates something along the lines of “I’m the best and you need me to work here to fix things”. Instead, come across as “Wow! You guys already have great practices, but I can help improve them with my experience in ..”.

Tone, body language, and expressions mean everything.

7. Limited Knowledge Of The Company

Imagine someone coming into your business and telling you all the things they can do for you. Now, imagine asking them “What do you know about this company?” and they stand there like a deer in headlights. You wouldn’t take advice from someone who hasn’t even spent 5 minutes learning about you and your organization.

Flip the table around and this is how you appear when you come into a job interview unprepared. Do your research ahead of time and make sure you understand the company’s mission, plans, and even better – future plans.

Ways to avoid this mistake:

  • Research the company before the interview
  • Take some notes and review them before walking in

Good luck with your next interview! Tell us in the comments what you’re doing to start improving.

Interested in professional interview help? Book online at Tyla’s Writing Services today for your professional interview training sessions.

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