5 Mistakes that you must avoid in a Job Interview

Interview Questions
21 Oct 2022

It takes great effort to clear the initial rounds of an interview and jump to the final round. You most definitely want to do well, not just do well, but you definitely want to nail it. However, even with a great deal of experience and your own confidence that otherwise helps you, it can bring you down too. There’s always a list of things you remember not to do, and these things are as essential as what to get right in an interview.

We often let our own overconfidence blind our efforts, and just because we think we’re prepared doesn’t mean we will nail the interview. It’s got nothing to do with how bright you are or how skilled you are, but these ‘in-the-moment’ skills make all the difference. These can come in the form of mistakes that we make during the interview, or simple things such as body language as well.

Let’s take a look at a few.

1. You’re visibly not prepared

Desperation begets failure. When you’re desperate for change, a change of a job, a newer lifestyle, it can sometimes blind you to be critical of your own self. Just because you’ve bagged an interview doesn’t mean you’ve got the job. You can’t obviously use your desperation as a reason for the job, therefore, you need more liable reasons you can give the interviewer about why you’re interested.

Failing to seem interested or even knowing it yourself can sometimes take away the opportunity staring into your eyes. You need a thorough understanding of why you want the job, and what aspects of the job you really like. Walking into the interview without these details cross-referenced with yourself can be disadvantageous. 

You need to learn more about the company you’ve got an interview with, but you also need to understand why you’ve applied there in the first place. While the truth may be reasons that you can’t state openly, you will need answers for the interviewer as to why you applied. You need to understand what role you’ve applied for, what your goals are, what skills you may want to develop there, and why it all matters in the end. 

These answers make a huge difference in whether you bag the job or not, past the interview.

2. You’ve got no energy

Interviewers can instantly pick up if your energy is low. While this might sound like nonsense, having a good night’s rest and showing up to your interview well-rested will improve your chances of bagging the job. Of course, when you enter the interview, you’re nervous and you’ve got those fight-flight responses keeping you alert. However, when that wears off, you may fall into trouble if you aren’t rested right.

Every hiring manager looks for employees with spunk—self-motivated, energetic and well-spoken. If you’re none of these during the interview, the one time you’re supposed to make the best impression on these people, your chances of bagging the job might go down the drain. Employers will look for candidates who can motivate others, and themselves more importantly. And if they don’t see the drive in you, despite your skills, you may not be hired.

Therefore, not only are you supposed to worry about answering right, you have to look right too. Go to the interview after a good night’s sleep, don’t go in hungry, and be interested in what they’re asking you. Push out all the enthusiasm that you can during the interview, and make the employers like you. If it’s on-call, then you should sit straight or stand up, and if it’s a face to face interview, then smiling at your interviewers presents a good image of you as well. Enthusiasm is not overrated, always remember. 

3. You walked into a trap

We all have some or the other reservations about our current or previous employers. No matter what we feel about them, negatively, this is something that shouldn’t ever be mentioned in an interview. This will not just make you look bad in front of the interviewer, but it can also have other implications. The interviewer might begin to wonder what terrible things you’ll have to say about them in the future. This is not something we want.

If you feel cornered in an interview, and this is something that’s common, honesty isn’t the only thing that can get you out of the sticky situation. You have to be a bit tactical, and strategize how you want to play this situation. If you’re fired from the previous employer, or you were tired of the culture at work, you may need to look up something a bit more substantial before letting the interviewer know. 

Let’s say, for instance, you want to grow in a particular skill. You can use this as a reason and elevate your answer. Always be tactful in your approach when you feel cornered, and make sure you don’t say anything that can reflect badly on you. 

4. Your body language has gone for a toss

Body language is a deal-breaker. It doesn’t sound like much, but the importance of maintaining proper body language goes ignored by several people, even with experience. If you want to clear the interview and bag the job, body language is your straight path to it. Eye contact and the right posture makes all the difference. If you avoid doing either one of these things, the interviewer will definitely take notice. 

Body language often does the unnoticed part of communication in an interview. It tells the interviewer that you are focused and are listening to whatever they are telling you, without having to actually say it in words. Unspoken communication goes a long way in determining if you can land the job or not, and these are subtle cues that need to be carried out. You will need to focus on the interviewer, on what they are telling you, what they are asking you, and you will also need to prove to them that you deserve the job. Your body language articulates all of this if you do it right. 

5. You let them know you really, really like the company

Enthusiasm is not overrated as long as it’s in the right amount. However, what’s repulsive in an interview setup is when enthusiasm is taken too far. Interviewers love passionate interviewees, however, sometimes, their passion can get a bit too strong. Always understand what the company does, know more about the company you’re going in for an interview with, and stick to the better facts.

Going overboard and literally fangirling about the company won’t make you look good. Stick to the facts and respectfully talk about what you know. You can talk about a few articles, but don’t go off track and talk about your undying love for the company and how you’ve always wanted to work there. Honestly, it can be a bit off-putting. 

Yes, interviewers like to see candidates who are passionate about the company, but going overboard here makes you look desperate. This is not something they want, and definitely not something you’d want either. Basically, don’t butter them up.

If you avoid making these mistakes in an interview and keep in mind what’s required and what isn’t, we can say you’re good to go. But, remember, not all interviews are the same and they most certainly don’t follow under any set rules. Be real, be focused, and remain sharp. And if these are followed, then you’re good to go!

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