The 10 Most Common Interview Mistakes

Getting the interview is an important first step toward that great job that you’ve had your eye on, but you owe it to yourself to make a great first impression, and put your best foot forward! Be sure to avoid these common mistakes at your job interview:

No Parents Allowed-This is your time to showcase what you can do and how responsible you can be. Therefore, you should not allow your parent(s) to call a prospective employer on your behalf. As a potential employee, you should make the call and build a relationship with the employer yourself. There are other ways a parent can be supportive and help without being involved during the interview process. For instance, before the interview your parent(s) can help generate questions or practice the interview session with you. Also, your parent can give you a ride to the interview but they should not participate in the session. The employer wants to see your potential and how you can handle the job on your own.

Not researching the company-The most common complaint from hiring managers is that candidates don’t do their research about the position and/or the company. Hiring managers want enthusiastic people who show initiative, and the best way to demonstrate this during an interview is to come prepared.

Showing up late-Punctuality is very important! Employers do realize that you can get stuck in traffic or have a family emergency, but maintaining the appearance of professionalism requires warning them that you will be late. Failing to do show shows a lack of respect for the hiring manager’s time, and makes a poor first impression.

Not dressing appropriately-Some companies insist on professional attire, and some allow their employees to wear t-shirts and blue jeans on a daily basis. You should learn about the company beforehand, and get a sense of their culture and dress code. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and dress professionally, or at least “business casual.”

Not making eye contact-If you can’t look your interviewer in the eye it can seem as if you’re lacking in confidence, or even hiding something. This might be more challenging for people that are shy, but meeting your interviewer’s gaze is a big part of establishing a rapport.

Talking in clichés-Many interviewers use generic questions, but you should avoid using business buzzwords and phrases in your responses. Most interviewers hear “I’m a team player,” “I work too hard,” and “I’m a perfectionist” repeatedly, and you should differentiate yourself. Say something real that the employer hasn’t heard before, and they will be more likely to remember you.

Trash talking your previous employer-All job applicants have made the decision that it’s time to move on, but it’s important to take the high ground when you’re asked why you’ve made the decision to leave. If you’re leaving a company because of an issue you had, you don’t have to hide it, but you should always try to frame your response in a way that relates to your career goals and ambition.

Not asking questions-“Do you have any questions for me?” is a standard wrapup for most job interviews, and and you should always have questions. Even if the interviewer was completely thorough, asking questions demonstrates that you have listened actively, and it speaks to your professionalism and ambition, letting hiring managers know that you are a serious candidate.

Playing with your phone-People of all ages love their smart phones, and have a hard time putting them down. But making a great impression starts with giving your interviewer your undivided attention.

Lying-Fifty-eight percent of employers have caught a candidate in a resume lie, while thirty-one percent of people admit to having lied on a resume. Even if you don’t get caught immediately, you’ll have to maintain the lie for the duration of your employment. If you get caught – and there’s a good chance you will, as many employers will conduct background checks – you not only won’t get the job, you’ll have wasted everyone’s time, and burned a bridge for the future.

Interviewing for a new job is always challenging, but the important thing is to relax, be yourself, and let your prospective employers see what you have to offer. Good luck!