Common Interview Mistakes (that you should avoid)

When you spend as much time as I have around the hiring process you see a lot of mistakes being made. In my book I have laid out before you can avoid the vast majority of these but to make sure I wanted to take a few minutes to just quickly go over the top mistakes I see candidates make while interview for while in the hiring process.

The biggest mistake is under preparation. There is absolutely no excuse for coming in and not knowing what the company does. I have literally been asked “what does your company do” and it is absolutely revolting. It just says to me, “I took no time to prepare for this because this isn’t important to me and neither is your time.” Know what the company does and prepare solid questions to ask everyone you speak to.

Showing up late is another deal breaker. Often it is your first impression, whether it’s not answering a phone call for a phone interview or showing up late to an onsite interview, its interview kryptonite. Drive there the day before, Google Map the route to know what kind of traffic to expect. Whatever it is you need to do in order to be on time, do it. Imagine you are one of two candidates who have exactly the same background, education and skillset but you arrive late and the other candidate does not, who do you think will be getting an offer.

Mentioning something inappropriate. This is another one where it’s almost shocking to see people make this mistake. Don’t talk politics or religion or even sports teams. This is a professional job interview, so make sure to keep it professional. For example, I am an avid Chicago Bears fan who happens to live in Wisconsin. The rivalry that’s exists between the Chicago Bears and the Greenbay Packers (I can’t believe they made it into my blog and book, ugh) is one of the most storied and heated rivalries in all of sports, there is no way I would mention that in a job interview.

Disparaging any of their employers or bosses is a huge no. I have mention this many times in my book because it is that important. I don’t care how terrible your boss or company was, you aren’t going to say any of that. Have positive things to say about everyone and every place that you worked. Nobody wants to bring toxicity into the workplace and when you talk poorly about your past employers and contemporaries that is exactly what you are doing.

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