Job Interview Mistakes

11 Most Common Job Interview Mistakes: How to Avoid Them and Ace Your Next Interview

11 Most Common Job Interview Mistakes


Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences. You’ve spent hours perfecting your resume, researching the company, and practicing your answers to potential questions. Yet, despite your preparation, it’s easy to make mistakes that can cost you the job opportunity.

In my professional trajectory, spanning from previous roles to my current position as managing editor at, I’ve conducted numerous job interviews. Through these experiences, I’ve encountered a spectrum of interviewee behaviors, ranging from exemplary to concerning.

Surprisingly, I’ve noticed that candidates often falter in fundamental aspects of the interview process.

In this article, we’ll discuss the 11 most common job interview mistakes and provide tips on how to avoid them to increase your chances of success.

Related article: 10 Things to Avoid Saying in an Interview


1. Arriving Late

Arriving Late


Timeliness is paramount in the interview setting. Arriving late disrupts the flow of scheduled interviews, potentially cutting short your interaction with an interviewer or causing inconvenience to multiple parties. It’s imperative to respect everyone’s time by arriving promptly.


2. Arriving too early

While punctuality is crucial, excessively early arrivals can be disruptive as well. Showing up more than 10 minutes before your scheduled interview can inconvenience the hiring manager and disrupt their workflow. Aim to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to your appointment to strike the right balance.


3. Lack of Professionalism

Your appearance speaks volumes about your commitment and professionalism. Arriving unkempt or wearing ill-fitting attire can undermine the impression you wish to convey. Take the time to present yourself neatly and professionally, as it reflects your respect for the opportunity and the interviewer’s time.


4. Not bringing a resume

Not bringing a resume


While it’s ideal for the hiring manager to have your resume on hand, the reality is that schedules get hectic and not every interviewer is perfectly organized. Therefore, it’s wise to come prepared with a copy for each person you anticipate meeting, and perhaps a few extras in case of unexpected interviews. Not only does this practical step assist the process, but it also showcases your thoughtfulness and readiness.


5. Displaying Low Energy

Displaying low energy


One subtle yet critical aspect in interviews is your energy level. Signs of low energy such as slouched posture, lack of eye contact, delayed responses, and a general lack of excitement about the company or role can significantly hinder your chances.

If you don’t convey genuine interest in the position, convincing the interviewer becomes a daunting task.


6. Focusing too much on themselves

Endlessly discussing your own desires, career aspirations, and how the job benefits you can be perceived as self-centered rambling by interviewers. Remember, companies hire individuals based on the value they bring to achieving organizational objectives. Hence, it’s essential to frame your responses around how you can contribute to the company’s success rather than solely focusing on personal gain.

7. Seeming unprepared

Seeming unprepared


Arriving at an interview without a basic understanding of the role or failing to provide clear examples of your past achievements suggests a lack of preparation. Interviewers typically inquire about your background, skills, interest in the company, and alignment with its goals. At the very least, familiarize yourself with the company and prepare anecdotes highlighting your relevant experiences and successes.


8. Having No Questions Prepared

During interviews, it’s customary for both parties to engage in a dialogue. Interviewers often reserve time at the end for your questions, understanding that you’re also evaluating the fit. This exchange not only assesses your curiosity but also sheds light on your thought process and priorities. It reflects your genuine interest in the role and the company.

However, entering an interview without any questions prepared can convey disinterest, lack of curiosity, or inadequate preparation. Even if you find yourself at a loss, resorting to standard queries like “What does success entail in this position?” or “Could you describe the company culture?” demonstrates your engagement.

9. Asking Weirdly Personal Questions

Asking weirdly personal questions

On the flip side, some candidates cross a boundary by delving into overly personal inquiries. Questions about family, previous workplaces, or career transitions can make the hiring manager uncomfortable and yield little insight for either party.

10. Neglecting to Follow Up

One fundamental aspect of interviewing often overlooked is the follow-up. Sending a gracious email within 24 hours to express gratitude for the interviewer’s time and reaffirm your interest in the role is crucial. Failure to do so may imply disinterest, disorganization, or simply slip your candidacy from the hiring manager’s memory.


11. Following up too aggressively

While follow-up is essential, bombarding the interviewer with multiple emails or incessant calls crosses into uncomfortable territory. Unexpected calls demanding updates can create awkward situations. A single follow-up email suffices; anything beyond risks appearing overly persistent.


By avoiding these common job interview mistakes and implementing these tips, you can increase your chances of making a positive impression and landing your dream job. Remember to stay calm, confident, and authentic throughout the interview process, and best of luck with your job search!


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