10 Most Common Interview Mistakes

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Job interviews can be extremely stressful, but when they're done right, they can be the key ingredient in landing the job you really want. There are many things that a job seeker can do to maximize their chance at interview success – the biggest being preparation. Before any interview, you should take some time to formulate and practice answering some of the most common interview questions. In addition, you should do some research on the company and find out who they are, what they do and what major challenges they are facing. Arming yourself with this information will make it much easier to demonstrate to a hiring manager that you are serious about your interest in the position and that you are willing to go the extra mile in order to have all of the information. These are both simple things, but you'd be surprised at how many people aren't willing, or simply don't know how, to put additional time and thought into making a great impression during their interview.


That being said, it's surprising to learn that the most common interview mistakes have nothing to do with preparation. The people at Classes and Careers have made a great infographic about some of the more common mistakes. It's filled with great information and you can view it here.


According to a recent article at Yahoo! Finance, the 10 most common mistakes, according to hiring managers, are:


10. Over-explaining why you lost your last job.

9. Conveying that you're not over having lost your last job.

8. Lacking humor, warmth or personality.

7. Not showing enthusiasm or interest in the job.

6. Inadequate research about the position or company.

5. Concentrating on what you want rather than what the company needs.

4. Trying to be all things to everyone.

3. Winging the interview.

2. Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates.

1. Not asking for the job.


What other mistakes do you think people make during their interview? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Image Source: OpenClipArt


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  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    @Howard - Thank you for taking time to leave a comment. Good luck with your job search!!
  • Howard R
    Howard R
    These ten things hits the nail on the head. I especially like # 1. I've got to ask for the job. This is the clincher for me. Great! Thanks Melissa.
  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks for the comments. @Brandi - I thought I was the only one who had fallen for these interviews. I call them "scam interviews" because they really aren't looking for employees, they are looking for new recruits for their pyramid sales scam. It really sucks when you've spent your last few bucks on gas to go to the interview, thinking that it will be a shot at a great job.@Michael C - not asking for the job is a huge one. @Tony - it's good that you can see where you usually mess up. Next time you go to an interview, don't pressure yourself. Consider it "no big deal" and try to let your personality show a little more. Spend more time on being "likeable" and less on trying to prove you're better than the others. It might be the change that makes the difference.@Louise - What a great bit on insight. I think many people spend more time and energy focusing on proving themselves and less time finding out what the company actually wants.
  •  Brandi K
    Brandi K
    With my interviews,there seems to be a hidden agenda to what information the prospective employer excludes from the job description, which is misleading. For instance, if I would have known that the position was based on 100% commission, no benefits, and the new employee pays for their training, I would have simply replied that I was sorry but this job is simply not the "right fit" for me. In return, with these situations, honesty saves the prospective employer and prospect time. I know better now: ask questions before the interview. Of course the questions vary from person to person; nonetheless, I feel that by being clear and up-front in the beginning is more respectable and beneficial to both persons.
  • kathy l
    kathy l
    yes this is how i feel i really wanna work n when i go in for an interview sometimes its difficult for me because i get nervous and then my answer are not what they want to hear so it gets fustrating, so if u have any advice please share
  • Michael C
    Michael C
    Good article.  Not asking for the job.  Brilliant!  So simple. Liked the list
  • Patty D
    Patty D
    I really dislike an interview.  If really pays to be bubbly, and smile. and be very happy
    I should have read this before my last interview. It was for a job I was well qualified for, I was dressed professionally, I smiled, I answered all questions with answers according to their website they wanted. I failed to actually ask for the job! Apparently I did something wrong because first thing the next morning I got an email stating they had decided to hire somebody with more skills and knowledge than me. I was bewildered on where they found somebody with more than 16.5 years as a payroll specialist who was willing to take a 5$ pay cut to work for a competitor of where I used to work. I also saw 2 people from my previous company and know of 2 others they have hired from the same company. I sent a thank you letter by email the next day, but the interviewer was out of the office and it was right after that I got the "we dont want you" email. I plan on emailing the lady and asking her politely what I did or said or didnt do or say that made her decide so quickly that I wasn't right for this job that I thought I conveyed very passionately was exactly what I was looking for in my life. Hope she answers honestly, for future interviews I go on for payroll specialist opportunities.
  • rama R
    rama R
    It is wonder full to learn about new concept thanks
  • Cornelia W
    Cornelia W
    I think some of its true not all though
  • Lori H
    Lori H
    I believe that #6 is very important it seems I can never do enough research.  Good advice.
  • Jeff D
    Jeff D
    body language, the way people present themselves by dress saying the wrong topic at the wrong time, not taking a resume with you,
  • Theresa B
    Theresa B
    I go into every interview positive and follow all these steps, even asking for the job. I am told that I interview great but still no job offers. I really am stumped with anything else I can do. I also wonder about the friends and insiders getting these jobs. It depends on who you know and not if you are qualified in today's market. I don't know the right people so I feel I don't get the jobs.
  • Tony A
    Tony A
    I tend to, not purposely but by instincts ignore other applicants there for the same position that I'm there for which leads to empty thoughts on my behalf to more simple questions given by employers. I am so annoyed after an interview whether it is I was dismissed from my interview session or I fail to respond directly to questions. During all this I look back and it starts on me concentrating so hard to impress the hiring company and neglecting to worry about what other employees might think of me. This leads to shallow answers, selfish thinking, awkward rudeness, and more times than most the price of losing sights of a  promising interview which could of landed me the job I  really wanted.
  • Tony A
    Tony A
    I tend to do, not purposely but by instincts to spend much More time on on other applicants and in actuality I try my best to separate my behavior and or actions apart from other possible hired employees which I find could be a key problem since I concentrate so hard on making my presence an impressive one. I start neglecting people around me and usually shuts my reactions towards the more simple answers to interview questions.
  • Paul K
    Paul K
    I liked the article very much. I wish I had the article earlier for my last job interview.
  • Joseph S
    Joseph S
    I`m looking for any advantage/advice possible so this was helpful.
  • Gord O
    Gord O
    #1 amazes me, but I never thought much about asking for the work one is interviewing for!!!!.  something i WILL KEEP IN MIND, DOWN THE ROAD.RegardsGordO
  • Bennie A
    Bennie A
    so what do you do when you have 3 companies trying to hire you at the same time how do you decide which job is the best
  • Christopher B
    Christopher B
    Having a "failed" situation ready to discuss is a good idea; no one is perfect. This question talks to your honesty and ethics. The important thing to remember is to follow up with:1. What you learned from the situation and2. What steps you have or will take to ensure you do not make the mistake again. Things shows growth and development opportunities.
    Not much is mentioned about phone interviews.  These can be difficult because there is no face-to-face interaction and you cannot get a feel for the person that is interviewing you.  I recently had a phone interview and realized afterward I had talked too much answering the interviewers questions.Should I ever have another phone interview I will simply answer the questions instead of being too talkative.  Normally, I wouldn't have done that but, somehow, felt compelled to do so since I couldn't see who I was talking to.
    Good suggestions
  •  Rolando F
    Rolando F
    Never be late and dress professional. JMW
  • RON M
    RON M
    It seems even-though an applicant does every thing correct, they don't stand a chance when recruiters  hire only those that were refereed by family members  of the company and they call that honesty  TRY AND REPLY TO THAT .
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