6 of the Most Common Interview Mistakes

By | October 9, 2015

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Broken girl during an interview

It can be a long journey from searching job classifieds on your computer to meeting with an executive to discuss an actual job. That’s why stumbling during a job interview can feel absolutely excruciating. However, most people have suffered a misstep in a job interview before. If you stay calm and keep cool, you can absolutely rebound. Here are some fairly common interview mistakes, and how to get things back on track.

1. Taking a jab at a your current employer. The company you work for might in fact be a gulag run by terrible people who rejoice in your misery. However, it’s never a good idea to bring that up in an interview. Ever. You’re not the first person to make this mistake though. Redirect the story back to what an awesome person you are for thriving in what was likely a challenging situation.

2. Drawing a blank. Interviews are nerve wracking for most humans, and sometimes our brains just short out on us. Don’t freak out if an important piece of information or a common industry term evaporates from your memory.  Acknowledge the slip up, and find a way to make the larger point that needs to be made.

3. !@#$%, you cursed. We’re not gonna sugarcoat this one. Cursing is a major faux pas, so apologize and move on quickly. Dive right back into answering the original question, and hope your interviewer is either extremely forgiving or has a short memory.

4. Talking too much. Awkward silences might feel stressful, but try to get comfortable with them in a professional setting such as an interview. Avoid the need to fill the silence with mindless prattle which can leave an unfavorable impression. Your interviewer might just be gathering their thought or taking notes.

6. Your phone is ringing, buzzing or beeping. Before walking into an interview, you should always take a moment to turn your phone off. If you forget to do so, don’t ignore it. The sound or vibration is an enormous distraction and will pull attention away from where it belongs which is on you. Apologize, turn it off, and get back to the business at hand.