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Common Interview Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Interview Over Coffee

Many otherwise-ideal candidates have lost their chances of getting their dream job because of an error that could have been prevented. Even worse, many hiring managers see candidates making the same mistakes time and time again.  Fortunately, many of these common mistakes can be avoided by doing your research and being prepared before your interview. By familiarizing yourself with these 4 common interview mishaps before the big day, you’ll be much more likely to impress the hiring manager.

Forgetting Your Resume at Home

One of the most common mistakes hiring managers see is candidates forgetting to bring a copy of their resume to the interview. Some job seekers make the mistake of assuming that the interviewers will have already printed out a copy, but this isn’t always the case. Forgetting your resume can make you look disorganized and careless, and can also leave your interviewers in the dark about your qualifications.

To avoid making this fatal mistake, be sure to print out several copies of your resume the night before your interview. It’s a good idea to carry them in a folder to keep them in pristine condition as well.

Not Having Questions at the End of the Interview

When you don’t ask questions at the end of your interview, you risk appearing careless and coming across like you weren’t fully engaged. Not asking questions can make an otherwise-great interview go downhill fast.

Most hiring managers appreciate well-thought-out questions from candidates at the end of the interview. This shows that you’ve been paying attention, and makes them feel like you’re genuinely interested in their company. During the interview, make sure to make a mental note of some questions to ask before you wrap things up.

Fidgeting and Appearing Uncomfortable

Many people underestimate the importance of body language at a job interview. However, fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, and other signs of anxiety can be a serious red flag for your interviewer. They may think that you’re too nervous to fit in at the company, or that you feel overwhelmed by the job description.

Be sure to smile at your interviewers when you arrive, and to have a firm grip with your handshakes. Always make eye contact, and try to channel your nervous energy into answering questions with enthusiasm instead of fidgeting.

Showing Up with a Drink or a Snack

A good rule of thumb is “unless you brought enough for everyone, leave it in the car.” When a candidate shows up to the interviewer with coffee, or even worse, breakfast, this can leave a negative taste in the hiring manager’s mouth. It can be seen as rude to not bring enough for everyone—and if you try answering interview questions with a mouthful of coffee, you’ll end up looking tactless and unprofessional.

Instead of chowing down in front of your interviewers, save the snacks for after the interview. If your interview is in the morning, be sure to have a solid breakfast before heading in. If it’s scheduled for the afternoon, don’t make the mistake of skipping lunch.

Excel at Your Next Interview by Avoiding these Mistakes

From candidates not having questions at the end of the interview, to forgetting their resumes at home, hiring managers have seen these careless mistakes a hundred times. Remember, a bit of planning is all it takes to leave a great impression on your interviewers. By taking steps to avoid these common mistakes, you’ll appear responsible and well-prepared no matter how anxious you feel inside.