The 5 Most Common Interview Mistakes

Interviewing for a new job is stressful, to say the least, and that goes for everyone involved.

Prospective employees come in with their game face on, dressed and ready to impress potential employers. Interviewing employers, on the other hand, are tasked with selecting an employee who may or may not actually live up to the personality that they interviewed – after all, some people interview well but aren’t actually good hires, and some people interview poorly even though they would actually end up being the best person for the job.

However, there are some tell-tale things job-seekers do that turn off employers and could end up costing them the job before they even finish the interview.

1) Not making eye contact:

No matter how nervous you are, you have to look your interviewer in the eye, otherwise, you’ll come across as someone who lacks confidence in yourself. Conveying confidence in yourself shows that you believe in what you’re saying and what you have to offer to the company, something that’s attractive to most if not all employers. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities why should your potential employer?

2) Overuse of filler words:

Pausing to gather your thoughts and deliver a well-crafted answer to an interview question is one thing. Repeatedly using filler words such as “like”, “uh” or “um”, on the other hand, just makes you look unprofessional and unprepared. Most of us use filler words without even thinking about it, so you need to make a conscious effort to keep them out of your vocabulary while you’re communicating with the interviewer.

READ MORE: Do You Know How To Sell Yourself in a Job Interview?

3) Personal hygiene and appearance:

It should go without saying that having good personal hygiene is of the utmost importance during an interview (and during the workday!), however where some people unknowingly make a mistake is by wearing perfume or cologne too heavily – you don’t want to smell overpoweringly strong in either direction, whether it’s a good smell or a bad smell. This is also the time to wear more neutral, business-appropriate attire in place of any flashy clothing items, and to keep makeup more natural-looking.

READ MORE: How To Dress for Your Interview.

4) Crossing your arms:

Crossing your arms across your chest is a defense mechanism that we use to protect ourselves and, like the overuse of filler words, we oftentimes don’t even realize that we’re doing it until after the fact. But crossing your arms also makes you look closed off and unapproachable – you want to make sure you come across as open and receptive during a job interview to give off a good impression. It’s important to sit with your hands open on the table or in your lap, which gives the appearance of being open and inviting to the conversation.

5) Being too stoic:

While interviews are a serious meeting, you have to be able to show some personality as well. Coming across as someone with a bland personality often gives a negative impression, and an interview is a chance for them to get to know who you are and what characteristics you bring to the table. You need to make sure to be yourself and be as relaxed as possible in the interview.

The majority of employers can tell almost right away if someone is going to be a good fit for a job or not through body language and their overall approachability. After all, if you’ve made it to the interview then they’ve already read your resume and know your technical background; the interview is your chance to upsell yourself and all of your best qualities for the position.

RELATED: Interview Questions and Answer Time.

Author: Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about a wide range of subjects like health, parenting, childcare, and babysitting.

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