Avoid These Four Common Interview Mistakes

John Krautzel
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There are many things to prepare for before a job interview, since you want to make a great impression and leave the interview knowing you've got a good shot at getting the job. For the best results, avoid the following four big interview mistakes.

1. Not Being Yourself

Hiring managers aren't interested in hearing perfectly rehearsed phrases or stories that almost sound robotic. They want to get to know the real you; after all, that's who they'll be working with day after day. Have the confidence to be yourself. During the interview, speak as if you're talking to a family friend. Be friendly and warm yet still professional.

2. Talking Badly About an Employer

Never speak badly about your current or former employer. Even if your boss was extremely difficult to work with, talking about negative job experiences only makes you look unprofessional. Your potential employer will also wonder is if you'll eventually speak badly about his company. During the interview, discuss the valuable skills you learned on the job and how much you look forward to the new opportunity.

3. Not Minding Your Body Language

Your body language during the interview can sometimes speak louder than your actual words. You can say all the right things, but if you're slouching, crossing your arms or fidgeting in your seat, you may come across as disinterested, jittery or defensive. Interviewers like confidence, which translates to good eye contact, upright posture and using the right gestures to get your point across. To ensure you make the best possible impression, go through a few mock interviews with a friend before your real interview. Practice answering common interview questions face to face, and ask your friend to give you helpful critiques on your body language.

4. Failing to Ask the Right Questions

During interviewers, recruiters generally ask job candidates if they have any questions about the position or company. Saying no is a major mistake, as this gives the impression that you're not really interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the company or its mission. Not asking questions might also make you appear unprepared for the interview. Prior to your interview day, prepare questions that aren't easily answered with a simple search on the company's website. Ask questions about the work culture, employee performance evaluations or any topic that gives you valuable insight into the company.

Recruiters don't expect job candidates to be perfect during an interview. Hiring managers also expect some candidates to be nervous. Give yourself an advantage by practicing answers to common interview questions and researching the company prior to the interview. The more confident and prepared you are on interview day, the more likely you are to make a strong, positive impression.

Photo courtesy of Testing Freesetup at Flickr.com


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  • Audrey R.
    Audrey R.

    Makes sense, especially the last being I never have questions. I can never think of anything at the time, usually I will have questions once I start a job, and trust me, I am not afraid to ask questions. I usually get my answers prior to, so when they do ask if I have any, I have already found out what I need to know before hand

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