Job Interview Mistakes

Interviews can be stressful; you never know what will be thrown your way. Luckily the Wizco Blog offers high-impact preparation material to get you ready for the big day.

We know the preparation phase can often be the most daunting, but we can assure you that taking the time and effort to familiarize yourself with some of the most common interview questions, and learning more about the company you’re applying to can have a huge impact on your success rate.

We’ve put together some of the biggest interview mistakes you can make, to help you put your best foot forward.

  1. Being Unprepared

    Interviews can be compared to tests, and just like your SAT’s, it’s important to study. If you arrive unprepared you’re only hurting your chances of getting hired.

    Beyond role specific skills you’d need, it’s also important to have an understanding of the company. Go to their website and familiarize yourself with the company values and mission. Research the industry and find out who the company’s competitors are. Then, analyze the position you are applying for. What will your main responsibilities be? What do they expect of you?

    The interviewer will definitely ask you to give examples of your achievements and expect thorough answers. Try to come up with stories and examples that show your abilities before you head into the interview. This guarantees you don’t get stuck or thrown off when they start asking specific questions.

  2. Timeliness

    Being on-time for interviews is crucial. Showing up late is very irresponsible and cuts precious time from your interview.

    Factor in all the variables: Traffic, commuting time, parking, security checks etc.

    On the day of the interview, clear your schedule and focus your attention only on the interview. Don’t make any other plans before the interview.

    If you are late because of some external unforeseeable event, don’t overdo it on the excuses. Apologize for the time wasted, explain why you were late, and move on with the interview.

  3. Appearing Unpolished

    The old adage of dressing for the job you want is particularly important when heading into an interview. Appearing untidy can lead hiring managers to make the wrong assumption about you.

    Get up early enough to leave yourself plenty of time to get ready before heading out and make sure you look clean and put-together. Finally, make sure to dress appropriately:

    If you’re going in for an interview at McKinsey & Co. you’d better wear a full 3-piece suit!

  4. Enthusiasm

    Low enthusiasm during the interview can end your interview before it even starts. Hiring managers are looking for passion and excitement as well as job specific skills. If you are not passionate or excited about the job, it’s going to come off in your tone, posture, and body language. Remember to sit upright, make eye contact, smile, and be friendly.

  5. Setting the tone

    Depending on what type of position/company you’re applying for, you’d need to tailor your tone and language. If you’re applying at a multinational consulting firm, your language will need to be formal and professional, while other positions may require a more casual tone.

  6. Not Listening

    Make sure you are listening effectively throughout the entire interview. Your focus should be on the interviewer and the question at hand only. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking some deep breaths, power posing, and clearing your head before you enter the interview.

  7. Being Distracted

    It’s important to give a job interview your full attention, whether it’s an in person or a remote interview. Ensure your space is prepared if you are interviewing remotely, and that you will not have any distractions. It may seem obvious, but put your phone on silent during the interview.

  8. Negativity

    Professionalism is key in any interview setting, and speaking ill of your previous employee is a huge red flag for any hiring manager, regardless of whether you feel it is deserved or not.

    If you badmouth others, you come across as unprofessional, hostile, and a hiring manager may think you are not able to adapt to a new team setting and work well with others.

  9. Generic Answers

    It’s important to inject your personal experiences into your answers. Generic answers like, “I am a good leader.” do not mean much without some insight or example as to why you are a good leader.

  10. Neglecting the "Biggest Weakness" Question

    Through the interview process, hiring managers want to identify self-aware candidates who can acknowledge their strengths and understand how these strengths benefit them in their role.

    The key to answering this question is in demonstrating self-reflection and the realization that you are a work in progress.

    We’ve made a useful guide which covers how to answer the age old strengths and weaknesses questions here: How to talk about Strengths and Weaknesses

  11. Not asking questions

    Hiring managers love curious candidates, as they show an interest and passion for the position.

    It’s important to ask clarifying questions during the interview if you are uncertain, but be cautious not to ask too many basic questions that should have been researched during your preparation for the interview. If you can google it, don’t ask about it.

    Simple questions that demonstrate your curiosity and preparation skills will show attentiveness and planning, think along the lines of the following questions:
    • Have I answered all your questions, or is there something you’d like me to clarify?
    • Who would I be working closest with, or reporting to, on a daily basis?
    • Has the company faced any unique challenges engaging with their target market?
    • Beyond some of the hard skills we’ve discussed, which soft skills would be most helpful in this position?

Now that you know some of the biggest mistakes interviewees can make, take a look at our handy preparation guides to best prepare you for your upcoming job interview - Wizco Interview Preparation Guides

You’ve just taken your next steps towards succeeding in your career, be sure to take a look at the Wizco Blog for more insider tips and tricks and walk into every growth opportunity prepared.
It pays to be prepared!