Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid

You finally landed that job interview. So, now that the connection has been made, the last thing you want to do is show up for it and for things to go horribly wrong. Similarly, if you have made it through the gruelling process of writing and submitting your resume that resulted in a job interview, you do not want to do anything to tank the interview. In this article, we will discuss the interview mistakes to avoid as they could cost you the job. 

  1. Lying 

What happens when you find out that someone has lied to you? You most likely say goodbye without looking back. A hiring manager or recruiter is no different, they will do the same thing if you lie during your interview. Lying about your education, skills, experience, past or current salary, achievements and so on, is not acceptable in an interview. If you lie, chances are likely that you will get caught. If you do not get caught and land the job, it may be found out while you are on the role that you lied and you will be fired. Alternatively, if they do not find out, you may end up navigating a job that you have no idea how to do. 

  1. Appearing Uninterested in the Opportunity 

Perhaps you realise you are not into the opportunity, so you act uninterested. Imagine if the tables were turned and you are interested, but the other person treats you as if there are not interested, it is not a good feeling. Recruiters and hiring managers are just as busy as you are, so show them that you are interested in their opportunity by being responsive and attentive throughout the interview. If you are truly uninterested in the opportunity, let the company know upfront to avoid wasting anyone’s time.  

  1. Being Unprepared 

With the number of resources and level of technology available to us online today, there is absolutely no excuse to not be prepared for your interview. Most candidates have a few days of notice prior to the interview. Failure to research the company and articulate exactly why you would like to work there will result most likely in a rejection. It is never a good sign when a candidate takes extremely long pauses before they give their answer to the questions. It illustrates that they have not prepared, which is a turn-off. So, do your research so you do not lose out on the opportunity.  

  1. Showing Up Late 

If you arrive late for a job interview, the recruiter may not be so forgiving. If you are running late for the interview, it is essential that you call and let the business know as soon as you know. If you have a genuine excuse, such as getting a flat tire or being in an accident, you will most likely be given some grace and can either reschedule for a different day or show up late.  

  1. Showing Poor Hygiene or Grooming 

Noone likes to sit across from an individual who has poor grooming or hygiene. The same goes for interviewers and hiring managers. When a person shows up to the interview with poor hygiene or grooming or just looking overall unkempt, the chances of a follow-up interview are unlikely, even if it is a remote position. 

  1. Dressing Inappropriately 

Similarly to arriving late, if you show up dressed in wrinkled clothing or stained clothes or dirty shoes, an interviewer may not be so impressed. You want to ensure you are dressed to impress during the interview, not pulling out the bare minimum or completely missing the mark. If you show up to the interview in the wrong dress code, it is likely it will be a short interview and a short interview often means you will not be getting a job offer.  

If you are unsure of how to dress for the interview, look at the company’s social media for clues, research their website or simply ask the hiring manager if you are struggling to find anything online. It is typically best to err on the side of caution and go with business or business casual attire. Avoid being overly casual, unless you are asked to wear something very specific that warrants it.  

  1. Displaying Low Energy or Negative Body Language 

If someone portrays low energy or negativity, you probably will not want to be around them and will assume they are uninterested. If you show up to your job interview with the same behaviour, it is likely that you will go right out the door. People want to work with positive people; hiring managers are looking to hire personable candidates. The most essential thing is how personable someone is. If you can hold a smile, conversation and bring positive energy, your interview is likely to go very well.  

  1. Asking Inappropriate Questions 

You should never ask inappropriate questions during your job interview. This can prevent you from landing your next job or interview. Examples of what would be considered inappropriate include asking questions that you show you did not do your research beforehand, asking about salary too soon in the interview, asking questions that are not relevant to the position and getting way too personal. Inappropriate comments such as religious opinions, political statements and off-colour jokes are also considered huge interview no-no’s. 

  1. Badmouthing a Former or Current Employer 

Recruiters and hiring managers will become concerned if you begin badmouthing a current or former employer and likely will not want to hire you for that reason. For one, it will make them wonder what you may say about them and secondly, it shows poor judgment on your part. In addition, it is not a good idea to criticise the business with which you are interviewing. You should try keep everything positive. 

  1. Coming Across as Overconfident or Arrogant 

Noone enjoys being around an overconfident or arrogant person and your interviewer will be no different. A study conducted found that 70 percent of employers consider a candidate’s personality to be among the top three reasons for deciding to offer them the job, more important than appearance and education. Additionally, when asked which personality traits they found unattractive, overconfidence came in as the most offensive. Hiring managers enjoy applicants who are confident without being cocky or arrogant.  


Now that you are aware of the biggest interview mistakes, it is time to apply what you have learned. If you have any hopes of getting past the interview phase and sitting at the office desk as an employee, avoid the above cringeworthy interview mistakes at all costs. 

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