Common Job Interview Mistakes

You’ve gotten over the first hurdle and made it to the interview stage, congratulations! Now, your goal is to not only stand out from the other candidates who will also be interviewed but also to leave a positive and lasting impression on the interviewer.

Here are some common interview faux-pas:

  • Asking about the company's sick day policy. This may be an immediate flag for the interviewer. Save questions about vacation and sick day policy until after you’ve been offered the job or your motivations and work ethic may be put into question
  • Asking for a large salary increase. Be realistic, do your research on the average salary of the position you are interviewing for and be sure to have a reason for any preferred salary increase.
  • Cursing. Cursing in an interview will most likely immediately get your application tossed away; it is unacceptable and not tolerated in any professional setting.
  • Talking negatively about a past or current employer. The interviewer is listening to your answers and gaining an idea of what it would be like to work with you. The last thing you want them to be is worried about how you might talk about them to others.
  • Claiming to know something you don’t. The truth will come out eventually and it will be awfully awkward for you and worst case cause for dismissal if you were to get the job. Be honest no matter what.
  • Assuming they have a copy of your resume. Always bring a (non-wrinkled) copy of your resume along with you to an interview, it is better to be safe than sorry and you don’t want to be left without one.
  • Asking “What does your company do?” Appearing uninformed about the company or role is a common yet easily unavoidable mistake. You must grasp this before the interview and if you don’t, all it says is that you just couldn’t be bothered to look at their website, thus what else can you not be bothered to do?
  • Not asking questions. There is absolutely nothing worse than acting like you are not interested at all. Do your research and be prepared to ask thoughtful questions about the company. If you’re stuck, ask the employer about their experience with the organization.

Interviews can be stressful as everything you do is under scrutiny, so be attentive to your interviewer and pay careful attention to even the smallest of details. Reply to interview questions thoughtfully and keep in mind that the interviewer is not there to intimidate you; they brought you in because they were interested in learning more about you, so be the best version of yourself.

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