Getting a job interview is a huge victory – but it’s also only half the battle. Interviews are nerve-wracking and high pressure, so it’s easy to make silly mistakes. Here are the top ones to avoid.

Expecting To Only Have To Answer

Some think of an interview as an interrogation – whereas, it should be more of a dialogue between employer and potential employee. Try to keep it conversational, and have some questions prepared in order to avoid awkward silences.

Trying To Spin The “Weakness” Question

The infamous question, “what is your biggest weakness,” is a minefield However, a huge mistake is to try to spin it into something sneakily positive. Employers know all the tricks, such as answering that you’re a “perfectionist,” so instead, try to be honest about something you can struggle with and how to work on it.

Displaying Negative Body Language

This can be tricky as it’s subconscious, but do try to be cognisant of the nonverbal signals you’re sending out. A weak hand shake, avoidance of eye contact or sitting with your arms crossed defensively will make you seem intrinsically less employable.

Trying To Make Things Up

If you don’t properly understand the question, or simply don’t have the answer, be honest. Rather than trying to spin something out of thin air, answer as honestly as possible and try to move on. Interviewers can sense when you don’t know what you’re talking about, and it never sound great.

Moaning About Your Current Position

Even if the very reason you’re searching for a new job is that your current position is becoming a problem, don’t say this in your interview. It’ll make you look unprofessional, unreliable and basically like you’re always at risk of jumping ship.

Looking Inappropriate

If you’re not sure exactly how to present yourself, go for clean and simple. Don’t look like you’ve just rolled out of bed, but you also don’t need to look like you’re about to hit the town.

Seeming Like It’s Not A Priority

Being late, checking your watch or leaving your phone on loud will all send signals to your interviewer that you don’t really care about the job. Focus all of your attention on the interview and show that you’re dedicated, interested and have a good attention span.

Being Too “You” Focused

Don’t just answer questions in terms of how they relate to you. Know a lot about the company, and try to build implicit connections between your skills and the position you’re applying for. That way, you’ll subtly show the interviewer how right you are for the job.

Not Following Up

Post interview, it’s generally a good idea to send a follow up email. Even if you don’t get the job, you could get valuable feedback to help you on your job hunting journey.

Annie Walton Doyle writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.



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