With the current labor shortages
, getting an interview may be easier than ever. Being successful at that interview, though, is just as difficult as always.
Interviews make the majority of us nervous, which puts us at risk of making awkward interview faux-pas. You cannot avoid everything in the moment, but you can stay mindful of common interview mistakes, below.
1. Fidgeting With Clothes, Hands, etc...
There's an unfair standard in interviews for the applicant. They're put in a new and nerve-wracking situation but are encouraged and expected to appear calm and confident.
While you can't "avoid" any pre-interview nerves exactly, you can try to cut down on nervous habits, like fidgeting.
If you know that you bite your nails, spin your ring, or bite your lip when you're nervous, take steps to make that less tempting. Take off your ring, use the bad-tasting nail polish, or wear lipstick, so you're not tempted to bite your lips.
If you tend to tug on your clothes, wear an outfit for a job interview you feel comfortable in and take a minute to settle into your seat when you sit down. It's better to take twenty seconds or so to get comfortable at the start vs. trying to arrange yourself on the chair for the entire interview.
2. Talking Badly About Past Employers
Some of us leave jobs because of non-job-related issues, or because we were offered a higher wage somewhere else. But if you left your last job
because of bad circumstances, a toxic manager, or another mistreatment, don't talk about that in your interview.
We know it can be tempting to give the interviewer a long list when they ask, "why did you leave your last position?" But by talking badly about your past employer, you're showing them that you may talk about them if you leave the company.
Practice your answer to this question beforehand, so that you guard yourself from talking bad about your past employer.
3. Not Asking Questions
A lot of the time, interviews feel like you're being grilled in an interrogation. But the right interview should feel like a conversation and an exchange of ideas. Employers know they'll be the ones asking most of the questions, so they give you a chance to flip the script at the end.
When they ask you if you have any questions for them, be ready to pounce.
This is your time to shine and show what an involved, excited candidate you are. Ask at least three questions: one about the position
, one about the company, and one about the recruiter. People love talking about themselves so ending on that note will give them a good feeling about you.
4. Not Preparing Beforehand
When you're prepping for an interview, go through the job listing and make sure you understand what the listing says. Often, these are written in professional jargon, so that may take some critical reading skills or vocabulary googling.
Then, go through your resume and see where you have experience with the main job-related skills, so you can practice your talking points.
Finally, prepare for interview questions like, "tell me about a time you worked on a team" or "tell me about a time that you experienced conflict in the workplace." Having an answer ready to go for commonly asked questions will give you a better chance of a successful interview.
Avoiding Interview Mistakes
No one will ever have a "perfect" interview. We're all human and are bound to make our own interview mistakes. The best thing you can do to prepare for a job interview is to prepare, be comfortable in your skin, and be yourself.
You wouldn't have gotten a call for the interview if you weren't qualified!