Interview Mistakes to Avoid

Do not bring a drink.  

With your nerves brewing and the nervous dry mouth looming, it’s easy to want to bring a bottled or hot drink in with you, but don’t! It’s not professional to enter with a drink in hand. Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 6.22.15 PMIt looks too casual. Plus, a drink provides you with an opportunity to fidget and get distracted (focusing on the drink and not making eye contact.  You also run the risk of accidentally spilling the drink.

Pitch the tea, coffee, juice, or water bottle before you even enter the building for your interview.

Do not chew gum or suck on a mint or candy.

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 6.11.03 PMThis may be very distracting, and you run the risk of accidentally spitting it out or even worse, biting your tongue.

Not being able to think of an answer to the question.

When you’re nervous sometimes your mind goes blank, try not to panic!  Take a breath and use one of these tactics:

  • Request that the interviewer to repeat or rephrase the question. 
  • Strategically ask for more time by saying, “That’s a great question! May I have a few moments to think about it?”  This makes the silence in the room less awkward by letting the interviewer know that you are composing your thoughts.

Calling the interviewer by the wrong name.

When you have hit the road looking for a job and have multiple interviews lined up, you may mess up and make a mistake by calling the interviewer or the company by the wrong name, it happens.  If you do make this mistake, you will most likely be mortified.  If this happens, the best thing to do is apologize immediately and move on.

In an attempt to avoid this blunder, when you first walk in for your interview, repeat the interviewers name out load and then a few times in your head.

Talking negatively about a previous job or colleague.

No matter how bad any previous jobs, bosses or colleagues have been, never speak negatively about it at a job interview.  This may result in a red flag popping into the employer’s mind.

If you left a previous job because of a layoff or budget cut, prepare an answer that is factual and neutral. Keep your emotions out of it.

Forgetting to turn OFF your cell phone.

Before even entering the building, turn off your phone. Also while waiting for your interview to begin, you do not want to be seen scrolling through your phone. You may be so nervous that you then forget to turn it off.   While waiting for your interview, flip through your resume and portfolio, not your phone.   If you happen to forget to turn off your phone and it goes off during the interview, immediately apologize and turn it off.

Forgetting to bring your portfolio.

Bring extra copies of your resume to the job interview.  Go the extra mile and get your resume printed off at a business supply store, on resume-grade paper.  If you have pops of colour on your resume, get colour copies printed.  You may also want to bring examples of your work. If you forget to bring your portfolio, send a follow-up email with samples of your work. 

Amy WattInterview Mistakes to Avoid

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