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5 Interview Mistakes You Never Knew You Were Making

Man getting ready for interview.

Tired of going to interviews? Wonder why you didn’t get the job?

After all, it seemed like you did everything right.

You did your research on the company and delivered a great pitch. The recruiter was excited about your skills and everything seemed to go smoothly.

The question is: what went wrong?

It takes just 90 seconds for a recruiter to figure out if you’re a good fit for the job.

Common mistakes, such as not making eye contact, can ruin your chances of getting hired. The recruiter could say “no” simply because you’re playing with your hair.

You have less than two minutes to make a great first impression.

So, what’s the secret to landing your dream job?

First of all, make sure you’re not making these interview mistakes!

1. Not Smiling

Believe it or not, a fake smile may cost you the job.

If you’re smiling mechanically or not smiling at all, the recruiter might see it as a lack of enthusiasm.

Body language accounts for up to 90 percent of how we communicate.

A warm smile can go a long way towards showing your personality and confidence. It also shows your ability to connect with people and reduces tension during interviews.

Conversely, a fake smile can be off-putting. It may seem like you’re trying to mask negative emotions.

The best advice here?

Relax and remember that the recruiter is a human being just like you.

2. Crossing Your Arms

Crossed arms are a sign of resistance and defensiveness.

The hiring manager might believe that you’re lacking enthusiasm or trying to mask insecurities. This gesture is also often interpreted as a symbol of uncertainty and disengagement.

For the best reaction, simply place your hands on the desk or on the arms of your chair.

3. Bashing Your Former Employer

Just because you’ve previously had the worst boss ever, that doesn’t mean you should mention it!

If you’ve had issues with your previous employer, keep it to yourself.

Your potential new boss will not like to hear you bad-mouth your old one!

Use positive or neutral language when talking about former employers and try to put a positive spin on your experiences.

4. Not Having Any Questions

When asked if you have any questions, your answer helps reveal the way you think.

Refrain from asking questions about salary, raises, or vacation during a job interview and instead show your interest in the role.

Ask questions like…

  • What does a typical day at the office look like?
  • What are the company’s goals for the next year?
  • How would you describe the work-life balance of a typical employee?

Asking the right questions will give the opportunity to further highlight your skills. Not having any questions is one of the worst interview mistakes you can make.

5. Not Standing Out

Hiring managers interview dozens of people before filling a position. How will you stand out?

Originality is key.

Give the recruiter a reason to choose you

Tell a story that relates to your career path. Share experiences that prove your skills and ability to succeed.

But, most of all? Be yourself.

How to Avoid the Most Common Interview Mistakes

The best way to avoid common interview mistakes is great preparation. Research the company and the job requirements.

Show up looking businesslike and professional.

Speak confidently and back up your claims with facts. Use body language to your advantage.

And remember, that more often than not, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

What are the worst interview mistakes you’ve made so far? If you could start over, what would you do differently?