Avoiding Mistakes

Avoid many of these interview mistakes by practicing your interview in Big Interview. You can learn interviewing skills, review sample responses, practice your responses, and self-evaluate your recorded responses. This can help you overcome these common challenges that many new and seasoned individuals face. 

Common Interview Mistakes

  • Not dressing the part. See our Professional Dress Guidelines for tips.
  • Late arrival for interview. Arrive early in case you're unable to find the location or office.
  • Forgetting to silence your phone. Never check or answer your phone during interviews.
  • Checking/sending text messages while waiting for an interview. Try to engage anyone who is around or wait quietly.
  • Poor posture, weak handshake, and failure to make eye contact.
  • Over-aggressive or "know it all" attitude. Show openness by asking questions and support your skills and strengths with clear examples.
  • Being overly nervous, tense, and/or anxious. Practice and preparation can minimize nervousness.
  • Communicating too personally. Do not discuss personal matters not related to job.
  • Exhibiting an indifferent attitude about the job and not asking questions.
  • Failure to give specific examples. Behavioral Interviewing explains this concept.
  • Bringing up salary and benefits. Save salary negotiation conversations for late in the hiring process.
  • Speaking negatively about anyone. Yourself, past/current employer, co-worker, professor, etc.
  • Using poor grammar, casual language, slang, or mumbling. Avoid saying "um," "uh," "like," "you know." 
  • No knowledge of the field or profession or no use of the language/terminology of the field/profession.
  • Not being truthful. Building trust in the interview is key to getting an offer.
  • Lack of career direction or goals. Provide general goals about things you like, growth opportunities, or further training/education you'd like to obtain.
  • Not tailoring interview responses to the job and company. Research the job using these resources and the company on How Do I Research Companies?
  • Not reflecting on your strengths, skills, knowledge, etc. The Top Ten Reasons to Hire Me exercise can assist you in clarifying your qualifications.
  • Failure to listen. Make mental notes of specifics the interviewer mentions about the job and company. Ask questions later or in an email after about key points that were mentioned.
  • Failure to answer the question asked. Make sure you understand what is being asked, and ask for further clarification if you are unsure.
  • Failure to close/end the interview. Have a summary statement about why you're the ideal candidate for the job to respond to final questions like, "Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?" or "Why are you the best candidate for this job?"