5 Job Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Sandra Burns
Apr 29, 2019 · 6 min read

It’s now harder than ever to land a job interview. Make sure you nail it by not making these common mistakes.

Maybe in the past you could brush your hair, slap together a resume and shake the interviewer’s hand.

But job hunting these days is a full-time occupation. If only you could list that as experience or talent!

And here’s where people get stuck…

Nowadays, potential employers receive so many job applications that they can’t respond to them all. Often the only applicants to hear back are the ones who are asked to attend an interview. The rest are left hanging.

Only a handful will be lucky enough to be invited for a job interview.

So what should you do if you get invited to interview?

If you are successful enough to get a job interview, don’t let these five mistakes ruin your chances for further success.


When: As soon as possible.

Check Your Social Media (image by
Sara Kurfeß)

Delete any public posts or tweets that might be questionable. Trust me, companies will check your social media to find out about you. Check if you ever posted anything bad about your boss or workplace, or posted anything rude or any rants.

Employers will avoid anyone who is a possible sexual harassment liability, or has strong views on topics that may be thought of as politically incorrect or inflammatory.

Review your privacy settings to make sure you know who can see your posts. Delete anything that might cause you a problem. Remember, if you tagged someone it goes out on their page based on their privacy settings too.

Make sure your profiles are up-to-date. Update your photo and job information Make a few thoughtful posts.

You must be wondering about what to wear…


When: Soon after being invited to interview.

What To Wear (image by Jeremy Beadle)

Not everywhere dresses in a suit and tie, but you want your first impression to be a good one. Personally, I would never wear jeans to a job interview, regardless of a casual dress code.

Check the company’s website for a dress code. Or check the website or social media for images of employees to use as a guide. Perhaps check with your recruiter about an appropriate dress standard for the interview.

When you choose your outfit, make sure it is clean and in good repair. Try it on — wear it for a while. Make sure you are comfortable.

Don’t test brand new shoes or a new suit at the interview — wear them beforehand. If you are uncomfortable, you will fidget and look nervous.

I never notice when people get their hair cut or wear a new shirt, but apparently there are people who do. And one of them could be your interviewer. So pay attention to detail — trim your nails, shine your shoes, check your outfit. Make a great first impression.

And this is where people run into trouble…


When: Prepare in the lead up to the job interview.

Do Some Research (image by Benjamin Dada)

You need to appear interested and informed about the company you are applying for. Run a Google search on the company name. What are they about? What is their mission? Check their website and their About Us page. Check LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Are there different divisions? What do the divisions do?

If you know the interviewer’s name, look them up too. Their job title? Where they sit in the company? Stick to professional information. You don’t want to be asking how their children are, by name.

Look for something different to say when asked “What do you know about our company?” I once sat in a day of interviews (as co-interviewer) and every applicant quoted the same company statistics from our website homepage. Who do you think we remembered? The one who talked about a recent news article where our company had fared well in the press.

Now, this is important…


When: In the days before the interview.

Promote Yourself (image by Thomas Drouault)

Study your resume. The pressure of a job interview can easily make you forget points you wanted to raise. Read, re-read, and make notes about YOU. This will make it easier to recall the details in the moment.

There’s something about ‘writing down notes’ (as opposed to reading information) — it makes it sink into your brain more. ‘Writing’ can be pen & paper, or tapping away on your keyboard. Either way, making notes helps with the memory process.

Make notes of a tough challenge you overcame, or big achievements to mention. Make a cheat sheet of your personal highlights to review before the interview — any awards you have won, sales increases on your watch.

Think about your answers to:

  • What do you consider are your negative traits?
    A relatively safe answer: I’m a bit of a perfectionist and sometimes find it hard to delegate.
    This answers the question without being too negative about yourself and conveys that you will do a thorough job.
  • Name a challenge you faced and how you overcame it?
    Think about your achievements, something like: The team was faced with conflicting deadlines due to multiple projects, I implemented a detailed timetable so everyone knew what was expected and when — and we could work toward deadlines more easily.
  • Do you have any questions for us?
    Perhaps ask the interviewer: How long have you been with the company and what do you like most about it?
    At the very least ask: When can I expect to hear from you about the position?

Avoid panic on the day. Here’s how you do this…


When: The day before the interview.

Give Yourself Plenty Of Time (image by Oliur)

Plan the journey, put fuel in the car, check public transport, check your public transport card, charge your phone.

When: Arriving for the interview.

Tell yourself the job interview is 30 minutes earlier than it is. This gives you some leeway for traffic problems and for finding the actual address. If you arrive too early, find somewhere to sit or go to a café and re-read your notes — don’t eat or drink anything that could stain your teeth, lips or outfit. Take some deep breaths.

Don’t check in at Reception more than 10 minutes early. Arriving too early before the interview time does not win you any brownie points with the interviewer. If anything, it may add stress to their day… and that is something you don’t want. Plus, they will make you wait until the designated interview time regardless of how early you are.

Those five tips will have you well prepared for your job interview.

Then what?


Relax With Friends (image by Elevate)

Breathe a big sigh of relief. The hard part is over. You did your best, now it’s up to the interviewer to make a decision.

Pat yourself on the back. Out of hundreds of applicants, they wanted to talk to you. You prepared yourself and hopefully you have converted a small win into a big win.

Relax with friends and think about other things for a while.

Here’s to your success!

Originally published at http://vintagecufflinksandmore.com on April 29, 2019.

Sandra Burns

Written by

I love to help people with vintage accessories, style & confidence. “Vintage is an opportunity to time travel.” —https://vintagecufflinksandmore.com/ ❤

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