The 5 Things People Consistently Screw Up in Interviews

There’s an art to interviewing.  It’s the perfect balance of being authentic to who you are while saying and doing the right things to come across as the undisputed top candidate for the job.  

My two recent blog posts on interviewing (10 Tough Questions You Need to Know How to Answer and The Biggest Secret You Need to Know About Interviewing) focused on how to win by doing things right.  While that’s great and important, there’s another angle to consider, which is not doing anything drastically wrong during an interview.  That’s what I’m going to focus on today by sharing with you the 5 things people most commonly screw up in interviews that lead them to not get hired. 

1.    Being unprepared.  A job interview is your chance to change the course of your future for the better. Whatever else you were planning on doing the night before has been cancelled.  Your plans should center around interview prep as much as possible for the week leading up to the interview.  At a minimum, you need to know the company, its products/services, and background info on who will be interviewing you.  You also need to make sure you’re on time (a little early is best), you’re dressed appropriately, and you come prepared to answer tough questions, and also have a list of good questions to ask prepared.  

2.    Being uninterested.  Make sure you come across as highly engaged in the conversation and in the interviewers at all times.  Be sure to have your phone on silent and out of site.  Also remember to take notes. Even if you only take a few you should have a notebook and pen out to show you’re prepared and keen.

3.    Oversharing. Don’t bring any personal problems into the interview.  It’s okay to share a story or two about your personal life if it is related to the interview.  For example, if you’re interviewing with a coffee company, talking about your coffee preferences and coffee drinking habits is fine, but going on about something such as how much your sister loves a particular brand of coffee is going to make the interviewers think you’ll be too chatty and potentially distracting to other workers with silly personal stories. Answer the question you’ve been asked but don’t go on and on about it. You don’t want to come across as long-winded; that’ll drive people nuts.

4.    Devaluing yourself.  I see this a ton in interviews and in life in general.  Don’t put yourself down.  Don’t devalue your experience, your decision making, your career, your past position, etc.  Realize that you’re painting a picture in the interview for how you feel about yourself. You certainly don’t want to come across as arrogant but never say things like, ‘I didn’t know what I wanted to do,’ or ‘I had no idea how to handle it.’

5.     Failing to connect your skills and experiences to the position.  It needs to be obvious why you.  Every question you’re asked should check another box in the interviewers’ minds.  That means the stories and examples you choose need to be strategically selected to holistically paint the picture of you as the ideal candidate.  It’s worth a read of my post, The Biggest Secret You Need to Know About Interviewing, to learn how to do this well.

And if you want more tips on how to ace your next interview, check out my online course or if you want me to prep you for your next interview, it’s possible! I offer a few interview prep spots each month.  Learn more here.

Until next time, follow me on Twitter at @MadeToHire, Instagram, and on Facebook. 

Merryn Roberts-Huntley