Career advice

These Basic Job Interview Mistakes Will Cost You a Job Opportunity, Despite Being Qualified

Job interview mistakes are avoidable if you are well prepared. First off, getting an interview means that you stood out from most of the other potential and qualified candidates. It shows that you have something that they are looking for and that you are worth their investment of time and resources.  It is a do-or-get done activity, a make-or-break activity that tips the scales in one direction, you either move forward in the process, or you’re deleted from the short-list. It is therefore critical and decisive that you get it right. Here are some job interview mistakes you can avoid and make sure you just get it right.

Going to the interview unprepared

The surest mistake that will make you lose is going to a job interview unprepared. Failing to plan, is planning to fail. It’s that simple. Think of it like this, whenever you go for an interview, you go there to prove a point that you are just what they are looking for. You need to be convincing and make them understand that they cannot afford to lose the opportunity to hire you. However, you cannot achieve this by going to an interview unprepared. Familiarize yourself with knowledge of precisely what they are looking for in a candidate. Anticipate the questions that they are likely to ask and think about what answers you are going to give and rehearse them. Contrive the questions that you are going to ask them and scrutinize their intelligibility and frame them to lead to the answers you are looking for. Going to the interview prepared gets you halfway to hire.

Over explaining

One of the most common job interview mistakes is the misconception that the more you say, the clearer you get. There is zero correlation between over-explaining and clarity. Interviewers have to go through a mass of applications and a multiplicity of candidates, and they share little concern about the candidates during the job interview. Make sure to not say more than is necessary and less than is required. Be clear and concise in the answers that you give and avoid beating around the bush by all means. If you are required to explain your answers, try and say as much as you can in as few words as you can. Observe the flow of your interview and assess the concerns that they may bear. If they have looming doubts about your application, it is entirely contingent upon you to hazard a guess and ingeniously address them. Remember, the less you say, the more your words mean.

Leading the interview

Exuding confidence and being assertive during an interview definitely gets you the points. However, confidence and assertiveness are not synonymous with being bossy. In a job interview, there is a clear hierarchy. They lead, you follow. After all, it is them that invited you to the interview and not the other way round. Do not make the mistake of asking questions before you are invited to unless you are asking for clarification or you need them to repeat a question that they asked you. When they finally invite you to ask questions, avoid asking personal questions. 

Instead, ask questions about the position that you have applied for. Sometimes they may already know the answers to the questions that they ask, and they just want to scrutinize how you answer them. Whatever the case, remember that it is them on the driver’s seat.

Going to the interview late

If you are going to a job interview, make the virtue of punctuality your friend. Just getting to the interview late already shapes your first impression and communicates so much about you. Avoid the mistake of going to the interview late as much as possible. Arriving a few minutes earlier serves two purposes. It proves that you’re organized, reliable and eager. It also allows you to take some time to compose yourself, use the restroom and prepare for the impending conversation. Also, avoid arriving too early as this may inconvenience your interviewer. Experts recommend arriving to the interview about 10 minutes early is ideal.

Badmouthing past employers

Criticizing your current or past employer is only healthy when it is objective. However, criticizing is not synonymous with badmouthing. When you criticize, you aim to show strengths and weaknesses and learning something from them. Badmouthing only aims to tainting the picture in mad and reflect nothing but negativity. Nothing reveals a lousy attitude like badmouthing your current or previous employer. It instantly makes one wonder whether you’d talk about them in the same way after they hire you and no one will hire you.