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5 Common Job Interview Mistakes

Understanding the common job interview mistakes that people make is important so that you can be sure to avoid them in your own interview. 

5 Common Job Interview Mistakes

1. Not knowing your own resume

You put together your resume to summarize your experience for a prospective employer to get an understanding of your qualifications.  If you get an interview based on your resume that means that there was something in it that they liked!

One of the most common job interview mistakes is that a candidate doesn’t bother to review their resume before coming to the interview.   Make sure you go through your resume closely and bring a copy of it with you to the interview.

2. Didn’t do your homework

Another common job interview mistake is that the candidate hasn’t spent enough time researching the position or the company that they are applying for.  It is common practice for interviewers to ask general knowledge questions like ‘tell me what you know about our company’. 

They don’t expect you to be an expert but you will want to have visited their website, read about what the company does, and familiarized yourself with the job description prior to the interview.

3. Sticking to a ‘script’

A common job interview mistake that many candidates make is trying to ‘memorize’ how they will respond to questions, and stick to ‘scripted’ answers.  While preparation for the interview is important, you should always keep in mind that it is a discussion not a speech. 

Make sure that you are thoughtfully answering the interviewer’s questions instead of trying to push your own pre-defined agenda.

4. Not asking questions

A classic job interview mistake is thinking that you won’t be permitted to ask questions during the interview.  Almost without exception this is not the case.  Intelligent and insightful questions can often tell your interviewer more about your critical thinking ability than the answers you give. 

There is an article on this web site that can give you guidance on the types of questions you should think about asking during the interview.

5. Failure to tie your experience to the job

Without question one of the most common job interview mistakes is failing to grasp the importance of explaining how your work experience fits with the role that you are applying for. 

You have a lot of experience presenting?  Great, how does that tie to the role you are applying for?  If it’s a short order cook role then it probably doesn’t help you much.  Think about how what you know will help you do the job that you are applying for more effectively.