Heading into an Interview? Avoid Making These 5 Mistakes

June 4th, 2015

It’s natural to be nervous walking into an interview. The next hour or two can make or break your career. But being prepared and avoiding these mistakes can help you to land your dream job, or at least come out ahead of the competition.

  1. Rambling answers. Don’t wander off on tangents. When you are asked a question, answer it directly. Give details and quantify your results, but don’t just keep talking. Practice answers to common interview questions so you can answer concisely and professionally.
  2. Improper dress. Don’t underestimate the importance of dressing appropriately for your interview. With rare exceptions, this is not the time to show off how edgy or fashionable you are. Err on the side of conservative. In most industries this means dark suit, well-polished shoes. For women mid-heel closed-toe pumps are best.
  3. Speaking ill of your employer. No matter what kind of horror story your previous job was, no interviewer wants to hear you complain about it. They may just assume that you are a malcontent prone to exaggeration and regard your negativity as a red flag.
  4. Not showing enthusiasm. Don’t be too laid back in the interview. Show some enthusiasm! Nervous candidates often worry about seeming desperate and over-eager so they go to the other extreme. While calming yourself is important, don’t be so Zen you appear ready for a nap. Interviewers will get the impression that you just don’t care that much about the job.
  5. Not telling a story. Anyone reading your resume can see that you worked for employer X for three years and employer Y for five. Part of answering the “tell me about yourself” question is explaining why you made the career decisions you made and how it all led to where you are today. And for every question you answer, you should be able to provide detailed, interesting anecdotes.

Need more advice on preparing for your interview? The career coaches at Select Group, Inc. can help. We can help you find the right opportunities, polish your resume and field the most challenging interview questions like a pro. Contact the job search experts at Select Group, Inc. to get started.

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