10 Interview Blunders to Avoid

Hiring managers advise job seekers to avoid the following slip-ups when interviewing.

  1. Treating receptionist or other lower-level staff poorly. Consider the moments before meeting with the hiring staff as a pre-interview. Many hiring managers consult with staff about your behavior before and after the interview.
  1. Arriving poorly groomed. Make sure you look squeaky clean from head to toe. Go easy on the perfume and neatly manicure your nails.shutterstock_12264709_March2016
  1. Choosing inappropriate attire. Dress for success. Knowing what to wear shows you understand workplace expectations.
  1. Delivering long, rambling answers. Employers want to see that you are articulate. Practice answers before an interview so you can give concise responses.
  1. Lacking authenticity. While everyone understands an interviewee needs to be upbeat, hiring managers want to see the real you. Do not be slick or sound hackneyed.
  1. Underselling accomplishments. First-time job seekers often undersell their strength as a candidate. Be ready to talk about how you will make a contribution to the organization.
  1. Failing to give credit to collaborators. Show the hiring manager how you contributed to a team project by explaining your role without taking too much credit from other team members.
  1. Demonstrating poor understanding of the organization. Once you’ve landed an interview, the organization will expect you to have performed research about it and its products. Not doing so is the consummate no-no.
  1. Lacking energy. Body language such as slumping in the chair or a monotone voice translates to disinterest. Make sure you make eye contact and are actively engaged.
  1. Failing to ask relevant questions. Prepare questions that illustrate your understanding of the job and the industry so you appear interested. If you do not, the hiring manager could easily interpret it as a lack of interest in the position.

Discussion Questions

  • Why is it important to be respectful and kind to staff of any level?
  • What are ways you can “be authentic” without appearing overeager or giving yourself too much credit for work you collaborated on?
  • What kinds of specific questions could you prepare that would illustrate your interest in a given industry?




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