Don’t Scare Employers Off: 4 Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid

When you’re interviewing, the last thing you want to do is send hiring managers running off in fright. Make sure you avoid these four haunting interview don’ts!

The job interview is going well so far, but the questions are getting more in-depth. In an attempt to learn how you deal with conflict, the interviewer asks if there is anyone at your present job you don’t get along with and how you handle it. You humorously reply, “Well, I really don’t like most of the people I work with, so I figured the best thing to do was look for another job, am I right?”...

That chilling silence that follows sends your heart racing. What a nightmare! You realize you’ve pretty much sabotaged your chances of getting hired.

A job interview is usually the deciding factor in the hiring process, so even small slip-ups can spook employers. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to preempt potentially horrifying gaffes. Following are four common interview mistakes and tips on how to avoid them:

1. Being frightfully late

You’re stuck in traffic but decide to wait until you arrive at the interview to explain why you’re late. In the meantime, however, a hiring manager might assume you’re a no-show and cancel the meeting. To prevent the interviewer from coming to the wrong conclusion, give a heads-up by calling ahead and explaining the situation. Better yet, leave for the interview with plenty of time to accommodate potential traffic. It’s far better to arrive early and sit in your car until your appointment time than to arrive late.

2. Acting like a zombie

You fumble when asked to recall dates of employment or other data from your resume. Over time, your memory can become fuzzy about past experiences. When preparing for your interview, take some time to review everything on your resume.

3. Making monstrous missteps

You trip up on questions pertaining to your knowledge about the company. Talk about making the list of interview don’ts! And when asked about your salary requirements, you cite a figure you later realize is well below current standards. Side-step a scary situation by researching the company’s product and service lines, as well as major competitors. Also review the latest salary data for your field, such as information contained in the OfficeTeam 2015 Salary Guide, prior to the interview.

4. Giving a hair-raising response to a question

You’re dissatisfied with the way you answered a question, but the interviewer has moved on to another topic and you don’t think it’s appropriate to bring it up again. But when the interview is over, you may regret missing the opportunity. Don’t hesitate to ask if you can elaborate on an answer you gave earlier in the interview.

Make heading off ghastly slip-ups part of your pre-interview preparation. It’s easier to avoid common interview mistakes than it is to recover from them.

Have you ever made any of the interview don’ts mentioned above? How did you handle the situation? Share below.

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