1. Being underprepared
This first point is pretty obvious – it’s a bad idea to go into an interview thinking, “I’ll just wing it!” Without preparation, you can kiss that job goodbye. Before your interview, read up on some common questions, practice your answers, research the company, and plan out some questions to ask your interviewers. If you need some more help on preparing for your interview, find that here.
2. Being overprepared
You heard it here – being overprepared can harm you just as much as being underprepared! You don’t need to memorize hundreds of possible responses or plan out every aspect of the interview – that may make you seem like a robot, or end up catching you off guard if the interviewer asks you something you didn’t prepare for. If you’re comfortable with your knowledge and people skills, it should come relatively easily!
3. Not being an active listener
You might remember this from elementary school – but put your listening ears on! Your interviewer will most likely share some important details about the position and the company, so make sure you pay attention and remember what they tell you in case you have any questions about it later on.
4. Not being early
Make sure you’re adequately early for your interview – 15 minutes for in-person, or 5 for virtual. It will show your interviewer that you’re interested and punctual!
5. Speaking negatively
This is a big no-no. Speaking negatively about previous jobs, employers, or coworkers will make your interviewers immediately think, “what will they say about us?” Instead, stay positive – you’re free to share troubles you’ve overcome or difficult situations in your previous roles, but make sure to keep the focus on you and your strengths – not the shortcomings of others.
6. Not having your resume on hand
It’s very common for interviewers to ask questions related to your resume – so you’ll need to know everything on there! Either bring a copy of your resume along with you, or make sure you know everything listed on it. It’s not a good look if you seem like you don’t remember writing it!
7. Not asking questions
At the end of your interview, your interviewer will ask you, “Do you have any questions for me?” This is your opportunity to show you’ve been listening, you’ve done your research, and you’re interested in learning more about the company and its employees. Need some ideas on what to ask? Find some here.
8. Not sending a thank you message
After your interview, make sure you follow up with your interviewer. Thank them for meeting with you, and let them know that you’re available if they have any more questions for you. This will show them that you’re serious about the job!