The 6 most common interview mistakes that cost you the job
You got the interview. You know what that means? It means that the hiring manager is already impressed enough with your skills and experience to want to meet you. Now you need to bring it on home and land that position.
Basically at this point the job is yours to lose to someone else.
So don’t mess it up.
There are some very common, avoidable mistakes people make in interviews that cost them jobs. To get some of the basics out of the way, so we don’t waste too much time on the painfully obvious: sit up straight, look alive, don’t fidget, wear clean clothes, brush your teeth, smile, listen, and don’t be late. If you don’t know these things, you need more help than I can offer in 500 words or so.
Also, offer a firm handshake and make sure your palms aren’t sweating. This is the first impression you make and, while offering a limp, damp handshake might not be the most common problem, the hiring manager is going to be a little bit put off even if you wow in every other way. If you have a sweating problem (I know this is a terrible thing. My friend has it), use antiperspirant or powder on your hands just for that initial greeting. (Read a whole article about how to shake hands here.)
Now moving on, here are six common job interview mistakes that cost people jobs.
Showing up without doing your research. The most common complaint we hear from hiring managers regarding the interview is that candidates don’t do their research and often show up knowing little to nothing about the role and company. This makes you look like you couldn’t care less about the position. Hiring managers want people who show initiative and who are enthusiastic. The best way to demonstrate this is to come prepared. Otherwise, you might as well not show up at all.
Talking in clichés. “I’m a team player.” “I work too hard.” “I’m a perfectionist.” These are popular answers to questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “What’s your greatest weakness?” And, OK, hiring managers ask these all the time and maybe they should come up with some new questions, but we’re talking about you right now. And while it might be a double standard that they’re allowed to rely on clichés and you’re not, that’s the way it is. Come up with real answers they haven’t heard before and that actually tell them something about you.
Trash talking your previous employer — or your coworkers, or anyone else for that matter. Don’t say negative things about people – no matter how much you want to or how much they deserve to be trashed. It makes you look childish and petty, and people don’t want to hire people who are childish and petty.
Not asking questions. At some point the interviewer is going to ask “Do you have any questions for me?” and you must not say “No” to this. Not asking questions shows a lack of interest and enthusiasm. You have to be curious about the organization, about the position, about the company culture.
Playing with your phone. I wouldn’t have thought until recently that this would make the list but the times they are a changin’. If you got that reference, you can probably skip this one. If you didn’t, you might be a millennial and a study released last year found that a full third of millennials think it’s acceptable to text during the job interview. Well, just FYI, kids, it’s not acceptable. Turn your phone off and store it away for the duration of the interview.
Lying. True story: a candidate who was interviewing for a job at Workopolis claimed to have worked at a company where the interviewer had also worked. When the interviewee couldn’t answer even the most basic questions about his time at the company, it became clear he had never worked there – which he finally admitted. He didn’t get the job.
Fifty-eight percent of employers have caught a candidate in a resume lie, according to one Career Builder study, while 31% of people admit to having lied on a resume. That’s a lot of lying. And, if you lie on a resume, you have to keep the lie up during the interview. Don’t do this. If you get caught – and there’s a good chance you will, as many employers will conduct background checks – you very probably won’t get the job, and you will have wasted everyone’s time, your own included.