Three Common Interview Errors

Are you guilty of any of these?  

I’ve spent hundreds of hours (seriously!) conducting interviews.  Shaking sweaty, limp hands, asking trick questions, and escorting candidates out after only 10 minutes because they were obviously not a fit.  What have I seen that can result in a “Thank you for your interest, we wish you luck in future endeavors” email?

No Preparation

Some interviewers come right out and ask “So what do you know about your company?”  Others may be more sly with questions like “What about our services/products interests you?”  Do yourself a favor and review the company’s website - check the About Me page, any Careers info, and go through the site as if you were a potential customer.  The more you know and the more you can speak to the company’s mission, vision, values, and brand, the more impressive you will be.


Gum Chewing

This is a pet peeve of mine, but I’ve heard it from so many other recruiters as well.  I know you want minty-fresh breath, but honestly I’m not sitting very close to you anyway.  Gum chewing affects your speech, is a distraction, and is unprofessional.  Grab a mint or at least throw the gum out before you walk in the door.


Badmouthing Past Employers

This one should be a gimme, but I would say that at least 30% of candidates are overly negative about their current or previous employer. You hated your boss?  Great.  Thought your coworkers were idiots? Cool.  Your interviewer neither cares nor wants to hear any of it. This is a huge turn-off for three reasons: (1) it’s a small world and your interviewer might know your old company or your old boss, (2) your opinion is only one side of the story, and (3) - and this is the most important thing for me -  it really speaks to your attitude in general.  If I hire you, will you be badmouthing me at some point?  Will your negativity spread to the rest of the team? Do you have unreasonable expectations and are impossible to please? 

To avoid this, when asked why you're looking to leave your current job, mention that you're looking for career growth / different responsibilities / new challenges or whatever it is that is the TRUE, DEEP-DOWN REASON why you want to leave your position.


But even if you flub an interview, don’t take it to heart.  As with most things in life, interviewing takes practice. Practice questions, rehearse your ‘Tell me about yourself’ answer, and work on a confident delivery. Want help with any of this?  Click here for more info.