7 Most Common Interview Mistakes People Make That Cost Them the Position

Congratulations on landing the interview! While you are busy planning, preparing, and envisioning yourself within your new role (we all do it!), take a moment to note the 7 most common mistakes that cost people the position. You’ll be glad you did!

1.) Arriving late or too early.

Arriving at your interview too early is a bit awkward, and too late is well—unacceptable. I recommend arriving 10-15 minutes prior to your start time, which is more than appropriate. As a side note, while you wait – never be on your phone. Instead, bring a folder that you use to review a printed copy of the job description and any talking points or questions you may have. I also advise that you bring several copies of your resume.

2.) Having a poor attitude.

Remember, the person who is in the waiting room to greet you (or setting up your virtual meeting) is reporting back to the recruiter and hiring manager. If you are rude, pushy, arrogant, or simply unkind – that will most certainly be conveyed and a deal breaker. Be courteous, always.

3.) Appearing sloppy.

Whether your interview is being conducted online or in-person, it is important to dress your best. Presenting yourself in a fresh manner will not only help you feel confident, but will convey a sense of professionalism that employers will want on their team.

4.) Acting as if you are “above” or uninterested in the position.

A hiring manager once told me about a gentleman he was interviewing who said, “Believe me, I could do your job.” It was incredibly arrogant. Needless to say, he did not get the position. Never act as if you are above a role, regardless of your qualifications. You should remain engaged and interested full cycle. 

5.) Speaking poorly about a current or previous employer and/or coworker.

No matter what your background, it is important to only speak about a previous or current employer in a positive light. Using certain keywords such as “not a good fit” or “company moving in a different direction” are acceptable ways to explain why you are seeking a change – and an experienced manager will be able to read through the lines and understand. But if you tear apart? Well, that’s just an immediate red flag.

6.) Making demands.

Unless the person conducting your interview asks specific questions pertaining to your schedule or salary, it is not the time to be making any demands. An interview is a time to learn about the responsibilities associated with the role, as well as for the employer to determine if you are a good fit. The rest should be discussed later.

7.) Lying.

Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy. Remember: a background and reference check will be conducted, so if you are not being honest about a degree or your reason for leaving your previous role (aka: you stole and were fired), your new employer will find out and it will cost you the job.

If you aren’t sure what to do during an interview, or are looking for some guidance and direction pertaining to your job search, my comprehensive training program at The Job Search School may be exactly what you need. I have helped thousands of professionals land their dream job through my personalized plan and approach. In the words of Colin Powell, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

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