Sure-Fire Job Interview Mistakes

Job interviews can be some of the most nerve-wracking experiences in life. If you’re unemployed and looking for a job, you might feel as though your entire fate rests on this one meeting. If you are being interviewed for your dream job, you might feel as though a perfect job interview will get you set for life. Neither of these extremes is likely to be true, and believing them might cause you to make a mistake during the interview that will cost you the job. Here are a few tips to help you interview more successfully:

  1. An Interview Is a Two-Way Street
    Never forget that the job interview is an opportunity for you to decide whether or not a position with a particular company will be a good fit for you. While putting your own best foot forward, remember to ask questions that will inform you about the position and the company. What kind of retention rate do they have? Why is the current position open?
  2. Use Your Research Wisely
    You know to research a company and a position before you arrive at a job interview. Once you've acquired the information you need, be sure to put that information to good use during the interview. Parroting memorized facts and figures about the company to your interviewer proves nothing except your ability to read a company website. Instead, use the information you know about the company to ask well-informed questions. For example, if you're interviewing for a sales position, you might say, "I read that your company had an increase in overall sales of 12% this past year. To what do you credit that increase?"
  3. Don't Be Overeager
    Show your interest in the company and the position, but resist the urge to be overeager. Playing hard to get is often important in your job search. Always check your calendar before agreeing to the time for a follow-up interview even if you know you don't have anything planned at that time. Accommodate the interviewer when possible, but feel free to request accommodation from your prospective employer if you have another activity scheduled at a proposed meeting time. Also, make sure the interviewer understands that a good fit is important to you. You don't just want a job. You want a job where you can excel in a positive and affirming environment.

Job interviews can be tricky. You want to put your best foot forward without appearing overconfident. You need to show your interest in an open position without seeming overly eager to land the job. If you do your research and know yourself well, however, you’ll be able to navigate any interview without committing any fatal mistakes.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015