Useful Tips

10 most common mistakes in an interview


A job search is like crossing a minefield.

Just one oversight can rob you of your desired position.

An interview with the employer is without a doubt the most stressful and important stage.

It is worth preparing for it in advance so as not to run into an annoying mistake.

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Common mistakes

When preparing for an interview, you must clearly understand that the interviewer will see you for the first time. He still does not know how good you are as a specialist, so he will meet “by the clothes” and project your behavior, appearance, manner of speaking into relation to work.

So if you are interested in the outcome of the interview, try to match the image of the “ideal candidate” in the head of HR. Here are some typical job interview mistakes that can seriously spoil your first impression.

Inability to plan your day - not the best characteristic for the applicant.

The recruiter may conclude that you are constantly late (and most likely will be right).

Too relaxed or unkempt appearance.

Inappropriate clothing and general carelessness. - vivid evidence of a frivolous attitude to oneself and, probably, to work too.

Bad habits

It is clear that an invitation to an alcoholic party on the eve of an interview should be rejected. As for smoking, often this habit is synonymous with loss of working time, so do not immediately advertise it. And by the way, chewing gum is better to spit out about a quarter to the desired building.


How to prepare for an interview, what mistakes should be avoided? Many misses can easily be avoided if gather more information about a potential employer.

Visit the official website of the company, ask friends, ask some clarifying questions to the employee with whom you contacted by mail or phone.

  1. You will make a good impression if you know the history of the company (year of foundation, place on the market, main production), its achievements, navigate the range of products.
  2. Find out in advance how strict your dress code is. However, even if everyone in the office is wearing jeans and slippers, it is better to prefer a business image for the first interview.
  3. Be sure to ask HR for directions to the building where the interview will be held. Come in advance to have extra time for unforeseen situations. It’s better to apologize for the early arrival and wait a bit, than to apologize for being late.
  4. Read the job description carefully. Write down in advance all the points on which you will ask questions.
  5. Pay attention to corporate culture. Large employers value candidates who can explain how their personal goals and aspirations align with the values ​​and mission of the company.

Self story

The ideal candidate speaks fluently and confidently, in a well-posed voice with clear intonations.

Anyone who can’t boast of it in order to prevent typical speech mistakes during the interview is better to follow a few simple rules:

  1. During the conversation, look at the interlocutor. Do not lower your head or support it with your hands. - this will make your speech less clear, not to mention the oddities of such behavior.
  2. Control the volume and speed of speech. Try not to speak too fast or quietly, but you should not shout.
  3. Grammatically correct speech can be your advantage, do not make obvious mistakes like “ringing” and “lying down”.
  4. Any reduced vocabulary at the interview is strictly prohibited. Even in companies with a very creative atmosphere and free morals, it is better not to allow yourself anything stronger than professional slang.
  5. Do not mention terms that you doubt. Such an attempt to show off your knowledge can lead you into a dead end.

What do you need and do not need to talk about in an interview?

Say that it will be interesting for the employer to know and introduce you in a favorable light:

  • successful projects and other achievements in the last couple of years,
  • new knowledge and skillsreceived in the process of work or study, with emphasis on how they are useful for business,
  • professional goals for the foreseeable futurethat you can achieve in this position.

What is not worth talking at the interview? It is not recommended to retell your resume verbatim and talk in detail about education if you are not asked to do so directly.

Complaints about life and purely personal goals are best left to meet with close friends.

Far-reaching career plans for the coming years may alert the interviewer if the position clearly does not imply such.

Try not to interrupt the interlocutor. The answer to any question is better to set the maximum in 2-3 minutes. Sketch key points in advance to quickly find out during the interview.

How to behave?

Even for the most confident person, the interview creates some stress.

Try not to give it away too explicitly.

Typical behavioral errors at the interview: closed poses (crossed arms and legs), frequent touching of hair, manipulation of objects in hands.

This should be avoided. However, even a nervous tapping with a foot will not be as destructive as a demonstration of qualities that are completely unacceptable in the opinion of any HR:


An expert opinion on how everything is arranged incorrectly with a potential employer and how you will immediately improve it is better to keep it with you until the official employment.

Take the time to prepare for the interview and remember the smile and light humor - they will not deprive your image of seriousness, but will help smooth out irregularities in the conversation.

Put on the best

Often, wanting to please the employer, people put on the very best that they have in their wardrobe. The result of this approach may be the impression that the person who comes in does not know how to dress to fit the occasion.

This also includes a lowly and nondescript wardrobe. After spending a long time in search of work, a person may not attach importance to his appearance, and come for an interview in an old shirt or worn jeans.

It is best to dress modestly but elegantly, choosing, for example, business-style clothing. Your external pitchfork should also be neat - a neat hairstyle, trimmed nails, manicure, makeup, etc.

Arrive an hour before the appointed time

Remember the saying: “Accuracy is the politeness of kings”? This also applies to applicants.

It is advisable to come for interviews no earlier than 10 minutes before the meeting in order to assess the situation a bit and put in order the appearance. If you arrive earlier, then the leader may not be in place at all, but if he is at home, he will hardly consider it necessary to change his schedule. As a result, you will embarrass not only yourself, but also office employees, as out of politeness they will have to come up with something to keep you occupied.

Along with this, in no case should you be late for a meeting. It is recommended to find out in advance where the office is, to decide how to get to it and get out in advance. If, however, force majeure does happen, you don’t need to panic into the office in panic or not come at all - just call, apologize, explain the situation and find out when the manager will be able to receive you.

Complain about a previous employer

Even if you quit for any unpleasant reasons, you do not need to let the new employer know about it.

Naturally, you will be asked why you left your previous job, and you should name the reasons neutral: there is no career and professional growth, inability to reach your potential, desire to find work in a larger organization, remoteness from home, etc.

It is also not worth criticizing the past authorities. If there were conflicts, then you should not talk about it, but if you still had to tell, then you need to discuss this topic correctly, focusing on the fact that you did your best to resolve the misunderstanding.

Despite the fact that the truth “silence is gold” works in many situations, the interview does not apply to such situations.

Remember that the employer should receive answers to all questions he is interested in, but after the phrase “Tell us about yourself” often either silence begins on the part of the applicant, or his story about his life. This is a big mistake, because it is necessary to talk about what specifically concerns the professional sphere, i.e. about education, work experience, wishes and attitude to work. A short story about yourself can be prepared in advance. Include in it everything you need, but it should take no more than three minutes.

Another mistake of the applicants is closed or constricted. But it is important to give complete answers that will give you the maximum picture of you as a specialist. And the leader should not “draw out” these answers from you.

Be shy

Being too modest during the interview is also a hindrance. In no case should you demonstrate self-doubt and self-confidence - you must make it clear that your professionalism is up to standard. But you do not need to praise yourself. Its advantages and disadvantages are important to evaluate adequately.

Considering that you are talking face to face with the employer, you should, as they say, “sell” yourself to him by talking about your strengths. Your position should be objective, and all information should have real grounds and, if possible, evidence, for example, diplomas, diplomas, etc.

A good addition here are a few words about your shortcomings. You can be asked a question about them, so an answer will be well thought out in advance. Keep in mind that you don’t need to say, for example, about the habit of being late or late in fulfilling assignments. But we can say that you can give up work at the expense of personal affairs or emotionally experience professional difficulties.

Do not show interest or discount future work

In some cases, applicants are uncomfortable to show how much they want to get a new job, and they, on the contrary, show simplicity of indifference. But the employer must make sure that the person really wants to work for him.

It is necessary to show sincere interest in the company, its field of activity, future job duties, etc. You need to be involved in the conversation process - so the employer will understand that you really want to get a place in his company.

Exclude from your answers to the questions templates, answers for which you have no arguments or are not related to the topic of the meeting. Be attentive to your interlocutor, and answer as truthfully as possible.

For unpleasant questions, which, most likely, you can also be asked, you need to respond with restraint and calm, which will tell about your stress resistance. The answer to tricky questions should be a sincere smile and a positive attitude.

Talk about everything

Sociability and frankness are positive qualities, but even in them you need to know the measure, and it is undesirable to start talking with your employer about your family problems, which can affect work, financial or housing difficulties, issues of your health, etc. None of this is directly related to your future activities, but it may well affect it negatively, and the employer should not know about it.

In addition, you do not need to talk about your manner of interacting with the team, especially if you do not know anything about the corporate culture of the new organization. The best option would be to get a job, become part of the team, evaluate all the nuances and act in accordance with the new regulations.

Indicate the attractiveness of financial rewards

One of the most frequently asked questions at the interview is the question of what attracts the applicant to a new position and company. And the most incorrect answers are answers about the attractiveness of a high salary, a social package, a good location of a place of work to home, etc. The personal motives of the applicant are of least interest to the boss, and he wants to hear arguments on why he should hire a new employee.

The reasons that can be said about you as an energetic person and a goal-oriented employee for whom the success of the company is important should be called. The more professional interest you show, the more likely it will be that the choice of the employer will stop at you.

Asking for money

Questions about finances are left at the end of the interview, and you cannot ask them in the middle or at the beginning of the conversation. According to the rules of a competent interview, questions are initially clarified regarding the work itself, the employer and the applicant. If closer to the end of the meeting you feel that the leader liked you, you can safely be interested in the amount of payment.

You must also be prepared for the fact that the employer himself will ask you how much you would like to earn. To do this, you need to look in advance at the company's website or job search site, and find out what general conditions this company offers to employees, and decide what salary will suit you. In a situation where a lower level of wages is offered, you do not need to agree to it.

In general, questions about the amount of earnings by applicants are not asked, but are discussed at the initiative of the employer. And even if this issue was not raised at the first meeting, you are sure to discuss it at the next if your employer candidacy is of interest.

Do not ask questions

If the applicant has no questions, this is a bad sign that negatively affects the impression of the employer.

Almost always, applicants are asked to ask questions of interest after the main conversation. Questions are an indicator of interest. You need to ask about job responsibilities, monthly work plan, evaluation of work results, strategic goals of the company, etc. For convenience, you can take a notebook for an interview and write down information in it, which will tell about your professionalism and serious intentions. And in order for the questions to be, and were, in essence, for an interview, again, you need to approach with the mind - to study in advance the specifics of the company and the features of its activities.

And in conclusion, I would like to give one more piece of advice: if your candidacy was not approved immediately after the interview, call the organization in a couple of days and specify what decision was made on your issue. If the decision is negative, ask what caused the refusal, so that you know what to look for in your further job search. Subsequently, act differently and, naturally, do not make typical mistakes.