10 Most Common Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid

By Relebohile Sera


Being invited to a job interview is not something simply accomplished but, unfortunately, for some job candidates, their time and effort is often wasted when they blow up their interview opportunities. Don’t assume that an invitation to a job interview means that you already have the job in the bag. Below is a list of 10 Most Common Job Interview Mistakes to avoid:


  1. Arriving Late Or Too Early

Running late not only implies poor time management skills, but portrays a lack of respect for the company, the position for which you are applying and even the interviewer. On the other hand, arriving too early can also irritate the hiring manager since it is disruptive to their schedule. It is therefore important to arrive 10 minutes early to check in with reception and be relaxed enough to get on with the interview.


  1. Dressing Inappropriately

It is important to look professional, well dressed and put together for the position you are applying. It signals that you care about the interview and want to give a good impression of yourself.

  1. Using Your Phone During The Interview

Before you get to the interview, put your phone on silent mode. Texting or taking calls during your interview is not only impolite and disturbing but is an obvious indication to your potential employer that getting the job is not your top priority.

  1. Not Knowing Anything About The Company

Background information like company history, its mission statement, location, divisions and managers is available on most company websites. Take your time to review it to avoid being stumped into answering questions like “What do you know about this company?”

  1. Badmouthing Past Employers, Colleagues And Supervisors

Putting down your past employers, colleagues and supervisors gives off the impression that you can’t let go of the past. You want your employer to know that you can work well with other people and handle conflicts maturely. You also don’t want your potential employers thinking you might speak that way about their company if you leave on bad terms.

  1. Not Asking Any Questions

Asking questions shows that you are confident, attentive and interested in the position. At least ask about what you’ll actually be doing and who you’ll be doing it with. Having no questions to ask shows a lack of preparation.

  1. Lying

However tempting it maybe to give out polished responses in regards to your experience and educational background, don’t do it. It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to make a background check on you and if they find out that some of the information you divulged during the interview is false, that may not be to your best interest.

  1. Not Paying Attention And Appearing Uninterested

Don’t ever zone out during an interview. Make it a point you are well-rested, alert and prepared for the interview. If you zone out, your potential employer will wonder how you will be able to stay focused on the job. Maintain eye-contact, give a firm handshake and lean forward when answering questions.

  1. Using Yes Or No Answers

It is important to show your personality in an interview. It is most impressive to expound more on your answer, to show that you understand the question and material at hand. That is stronger than giving out a yes or no response.

  1. Failing To Follow-Up And Following Up Too Aggressively

The end of the interview does not mean the entire process is over. Don’t leave and just wait to receive the job offer. Ask what the next steps are in the hiring process and also send out a thank you note to thank them for their time. While it is important to follow up, don’t call the hiring manager to ask them on the progress of your interview. Send your thank you note and then move on with your life.