5 Key Mistakes People Do at Job Interviews


A job interview can be a nerve-racking situation for many people but that is a positive sign, meaning that you really care about it.

If you channel that energy properly, you can avoid these common 5 mistakes people usually do at job interviews:


  1. Being unprepared

Being prepared for a job interview is more than just knowing how to explain your responsibilities and achievements at your current and/or past positions.

It’s also knowing information about the company you’re applying to, the job description and also about the interviewers, so you’re ready for open questions like “what do you know about this company”?

Good preparation becomes obvious very quickly (as well as bad preparation), so do your research beforehand:


  • Study the job description and how your experience and skills match what they need
  • Visit the company’s website, especially the About, the Mission and the News page (if they have one) so you know more about the company
  • Get familiar with their products and/or services
  • Follow the company on social media to know the latest news that might not be shared on their website
  • Google the company too so you find what’s being said on other places
  • Go on Linkedin to know more information about the company and the interviewers

Good preparation also means wearing the proper clothes that match the type of company and position you’re applying for, and also getting there on time!


  1. Negative body language


What you say is important, but how you present yourself is also key to a successful job interview.

Having negative body language can kill a job interview even if you say all the right things, because of the vibes you’re giving away.

Instead, a nice genuine smile, a good handshake, making eye contact, keeping your body open by nor crossing your arms or legs are all important things to do.

Make sure you’re genuinely happy going to the job interview and make sure it shows. If for any reason you’re not, maybe you should re-evaluate if the opportunity or company is the right thing for you.


  1. Sharing too much information

Sometimes when people are nervous they can end up talking too much and even start rambling. Not smart or useful!

When you talk, try to provide only the information they want to hear in a concise and straight to the point manner.

The last thing you want is for the interviewers to get confused or even start losing focus, not really understanding what you’re saying or start feeling concerned about time.

If they want more details about something, they’ll ask. This will also help to make the job interview more of a conversation rather than a strict formal situation.

If you’re concerned you didn’t provide enough information, you can also ask them if they want you to go into more detail.


  1. Not having good questions (or any questions)

A job interview is a two-way street. It’s also for you to know more about the job position and the company and see if it’s a good fit for your career goals and personality.

So don’t assume the interviewers are going to talk and give you all the answers. You need to ask them yourself!

Having good questions also shows you’re interested in that job opportunity and very often promotes a less informal part of the interview (usually at the end) where the interviewers can provide more information without having to follow the interview script they had.

So take good opportunity when they ask if you have any questions.

Some good questions are:


  • What are your expectations for the first month in this position?
  • What do you like most about working for this company?
  • What are the career development opportunities the company offers?
  • What are the next stages of the recruitment process?


  1. Failing to follow-up

Following up after a job interview benefits you in two ways:


  • Makes you stand out in the crowd: most job seekers don’t follow up after an interview, so by doing it you keep on top of their minds and can even help them make a decision to hire you if they’re deciding between you and someone else.
  • Creates a relationship: a job interview can be the beginning of a long-term relationship with your new company and your new boss and co-workers. So a follow-up can help on that.

So, after the job interview send a thank you note to the interviewers directly, to the recruiter managing the recruitment process, so he passes out the information to them and/or to the employee or networking contact who referred you for the opportunity, if that was the case.

Don’t say too much though.

Just say you appreciate the time they took to interview you, that now that you know more about the company and the position you’re even more interested in the job opportunity, and state you’re available in case they need more information.


Over to You

If you need help with preparing for a job interview, contact us now on 0845 45 900 35 or email info@gatewaycareers.co.uk for a free, no obligation, one hour career consultation with a Gateway consultant.

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