Six Interview Mistakes to Avoid

It’s tough to avoid typical interview traps if you’re unsure what they are. Here are six to watch out for.


1. Confusing an Interview with an Interrogation

Most candidates expect to be interrogated.  An interview should be a converstaion.  Candidates who expect to be interrogated avoid asking questions, leaving the interviewer in the role of interrogator.

2. Making a Weakness Seem Positive

“What are your weaknesses?” Conventional wisdom dictates that you highlight a weakness like “I’m a workaholic,” and turn it into a positive. Interviewers have heard the same answer a hundred times. If you are asked this, highlight a skill that you wish to improve upon and describe what you are doing to enhance your skill in this area. Interviewers want to see how you handle the question.

3. Failing to Ask Questions

Almost every interviewer will ask if you have questions.  Having no questions prepared indicates a lack of interest or lack of preparation. Interviewers are more impressed by the questions you ask than the answers to your questions.  Make a list of questions you will ask.  Include a question about the interviewer, such as, “What attracted you to this company?”

4. Researching the Company But Not Yourself

Of course, you should prepare by researching the company. But most people don’t take inventory of their own experience, knowledge and skills. Formulating a list of accomplishments prepares you to comfortably respond to any questions about your experience.

5. Leaving Your Cellphone On

We may live in a wired & mobile world, but a cellphone is not appropriate for an interview. Turn it off before you enter the building.

6. Waiting for a Call

Time is your enemy after the interview. After you send a thank-you letter to every interviewer, follow up a couple of days later with a question or additional information.  Additional information can be details about your talents, successes, or a recent news industry article of interest. Your intention is to keep everyone’s memory of you fresh.

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