Are You Learning From Your Interview Mistakes?

Nancy Anderson
Posted by in Career Advice

You can't expect every job interview to be perfect. From time to time, you're bound to make mistakes and find yourself losing out on the position to a candidate who made a better impression on the hiring manager. The most important thing is that you learn from your mistakes and make a plan to improve your interview skills. Discover some common job interview mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not Selling Yourself

When you act nervous during a job interview, hiring managers take notice. Practice common interview questions prior to the interview to boost your confidence. When asked by the hiring manager to describe yourself, don't simply list details of your resume. Show your personality to set yourself apart from the competition and create a lasting first impression.

2. Coming Unprepared

Showing up late to a job interview leads the hiring manager to question your dependability and interest in the position. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early so you have time to park, find the office, check in with the receptionist and gather your thoughts. Bring several copies of your resume to every job interview you attend.

3. Dressing Poorly

Don't underestimate your interview attire. Present a polished image by wearing a professional suit and clean shoes. Ensure your hair and fingernails are freshly groomed, and don't overdo it when spraying on perfume or cologne. Make sure your breath is fresh, and never smoke prior to the interview.

4. Demonstrating Bad Body Language

Bad body language in a job interview can turn off the hiring manager in an instant. Offer a firm, confident handshake when you first meet the recruiter, and make eye contact with those on the interview panel as you respond to questions. Avoid fidgeting with papers, and don't bounce your feet or legs nervously throughout the interview.

5. Missing Opportunities

When the hiring manager turns the tables and gives you the chance to ask questions, never reply that you don't have any. Come to the interview prepared with some thoughtful, intelligent and engaging questions that show your interest in the position. Ask about challenging job duties, or inquire about the company culture.

6. Talking Negatively

Avoid the temptation to make any negative comments about former employers, co-workers or bosses. This can lead the hiring manager to doubt your loyalty and question your ability to work well with others. If asked why you want to leave your current position, simply say you're looking for a challenge.

Don't make the same mistake twice. A bad first impression in a job interview can cause you to miss out on a great career opportunity, but all is not lost if you learn from your mistakes and improve upon your interviewing skills.

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