Top 10 job Interview Mistakes that can cost you the job

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Common Interview Mistakes


Anytime that you are lucky enough to get by the gatekeepers and land an interview you must not waste the opportunity and reduce the chances of making a fatal flaw that will cost you a chance at an offer.    Never assume that the job offer is going to happen simply because you were invited for an interview.  Even if the position you are interviewing for is not your dream job you should give it your all.  There might be other opportunities within that organization they might be considering you for.


Job interview common mistake #1 - Not being prepared

Mock interviews are the best way to get prepared and practice.  An interview coach or career professional will help you prepare and help get you in shape the same way a personal trainer can get you in shape for a sporting event.

An interview coach will make you mindful of your body language, and know a bit about the position you’re applying for. The key is to make it obvious that you’re the solution to an employer’s problem, and that they won’t find anyone better.  They should help you analyze the job description and your match with it.  They will also review your answers to the standard ad behavioral job interview questions and get you prepared for the most important first five minutes.


Job interview common mistake #2 - Not knowing the organization or the hiring manager


Review the company website, as thoroughly as you can. What do they do? Do they state a "mission"? How are they organized? Where are they located? Are they part of a larger organization? If they have subsidiaries, what do their subsidiaries do?   Note the names of their products and/or services and get familiar with what each does.  Know the name of the CEO.  Where are the key company locations? Research the hiring manager from their LinkedIn profile.  Incorporate what you can in your interview answers.


Job interview common mistake #3 - Not Dressing appropriately


Worried about overdressing? Don’t — it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.  You can do some research as to what is appropriate and what is not.  Don’t wear an outfit you bought 15 years ago for a wedding.  Do not go overboard with flashy or too many colors.  Tone down the amount of jewelry and this is an interview not a night out on the town.  Dressing conservative is the key.


Job interview common mistake #4 - Not being accountability

Refuse to take ownership? Only want the credit and none of the blame? These might come out in a behavioral interview.  Be honest.  Even if you don’t realize your own lack of accountability, others will. It’s something that drives your bosses and co-workers crazy, and will also reflect poorly on you as a candidate. Things go wrong, sometimes. And you need to own up to your mistakes — just as you should be proud when things go as planned.


Job interview common mistake #5 - Appear anxious or nervous

Anxious candidate are less likely to be hired.  Hiring managers can get turned off if you become overly anxious even though that is part of the interview process, just remember they do many interviews and it grows old. This isn’t an immediately interview killer when you consider that interviewers will forgive you to a point. If you can’t handle sitting and speaking in a room, how can you be expected to meet the obligations of the job?  You want to radiate confidence and show them you can handle pressure. 


Job interview common mistake #6 - Not being truthful

We all tell little white lies and our resumes tend to glorify our skills with hiding the blemishes.  Hiring managers and recruiters hate it. You hate it when employers lie to you. So, just avoid it. If you get caught, an employer will make you pay for it. Blunt lies will make you untrustworthy and cost you the opportunity.  If you lie about a degree or certification you can be fired after you are hired.  Just don’t do it.


Job interview common mistake #7 - Not leaving your phone alone

Turn your phone off or better yet leave it in the car.  I would not even put it on silent mode.  The temptation to look when it goes off might be overwhelming. Some people clearly don’t leave it behind as many recruiters say that interviewees taking phone calls or sending texts are a common mistake.


Job interview common mistake #8 - Not having the right attitude

You must be engaging and appear interested (even if the interviewer is boing).  Do not be negative and talk down about any of your last company that you worked for or past management.  Have a positive attitude and a can do attitude without sounding like a know it all or bragging.


Job interview common mistake #9 - Getting too friendly with the interviewer

The interviewer is not your friend.  Many HR reps will break the ice and start small talk.  Be friendly but don’t start talking about your parting days, politics or your religious affiliation.  TMI (Too Much Information) also applies to your answer.  Even with the “tell me about yourself” answer try to keep them under 3 minutes.  Do not ramble on.


Job interview common mistake #10 - Not having good questions to ask

This is your chance to grill them.  The best question to ask is “how do you think by background fits what you are looking for”?  If they have any doubts it will give you a chance to salvage the interview and defend yourself and discuss your background.  The first interview is not a time to bring up money.

Bonus interview tip:  Always ask for the job!


Most hiring decision are made in the first five minutes of the interview.  You must be prepared for these three common interview questions to give you a dynamic first five minutes.

An Interview Coach can help you avoid fatal flaws that will make you fail the interview.  Win the interview with an interview coach
Call MVPSource today at 704-837-8203

MVPSource Interview Coaching Services

MVP’s Complete Interview Preparation Program helps you better prepare for the screening and interview process.  We will help you develop examples of past accomplishments and how to effectively communicate them; how to address the “Tell me about yourself” question; how to answer standard interview questions while avoiding common pitfalls; how to understand the type of interview you will be having;  how to develop strong questions to ask the interviewer; how to effectively communicate your answers in a STAR format; how to differentiate yourself from other candidates; and how to help you prepare so that you are confident going into an interview process.

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