job interview
Posted on: May 10th, 2022

If you are looking for a new job, you know what outstanding skills and talents you have to offer your future employer. The only thing that stands between you and your dream job is the dreaded interview process. The following is a list of five common mistakes you will want to avoid in order to accomplish a successful interview.


Mistake #1: Arrive Late

One of the worst things you can do is arrive late for your job interview. Tardiness sets a bad precedent. Your interviewer may suppose that tardiness is a regular habit. To build a foundation of trust and genuine interest, arrive early. Drive to your interview location the day before to ensure that you know how to get there. Set your alarm clock and have your clothes laid out and ready to go in the morning.


Mistake #2: Arrive Unprepared

Arriving unprepared to your interview is a mistake if you want to make a good impression. Set aside an appropriate amount of time to prepare for the expected and the unexpected. You will not regret preparing well ahead of time. The following tactics will help you avoid the mistake of unpreparedness.

Study the Company Website

Many individuals go to an interview knowing very little about the company of interest, or worse yet, they confuse it with the company at which they interviewed the day before. After discovering open positions listed on the company website, study the company’s history, mission statement, products, values, benefits, and location. It will impress your potential future employer if you possess foundational knowledge and genuine enthusiasm about the company.

Make a point to ask great questions about the company. Review our list of the Top 5 Questions to Ask in Your Job Interview.

Bonus Tip: It is natural to compare your possible employer with past employers. Whatever you do, avoid talking negatively about past employers unless a situation took place that your interviewer needs to know about to maintain appropriate transparency, communicate needs, and promote trust.

Field Possible Questions

It may frighten you if you do not know what questions will be asked at your interview. Try to think of possible questions your interviewer may ask, so you can feel more confident and prepared. It is okay if you do not know all the answers. You can say, “May I please get back to you about that question?” Five common interview questions are as follows:

  • What past work experiences have prepared you for this position?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?

If you approach the opportunity calmly, you will arrive calm and ready to face questions you will receive. It would likewise be advantageous to write down thoughtful questions you would like to ask your potential employer.

Choose a Professional Look

As you prepare for your interview, choose a professional-looking outfit to wear. Your appearance should tastefully reflect your personality and goals. If you have any doubts, it is better to arrive more dressed up than less dressed up. Your interview outfit should be clean, ironed, and modest. Ask a friend for a second opinion. Complete your look from head to toe with a sharp-looking hairstyle and shined shoes. It will steady your nerves if you lay out everything you are going to wear the night before. Your put-together look will give you confidence for your big day.


Mistake #3: Negative Body Language

Some people forget that they are constantly communicating, even when not speaking. You want to exude a confident, trustworthy presence. Therefore, you will want to avoid negative body language, such as a limp handshake, avoiding eye contact, slouching, head down, flirtation, frowning, and nervous habits such as biting your fingernails or twirling your hair in your fingers. Instead, greet your interviewer with a warm smile, a firm (but not too firm) handshake, eye contact, and a friendly, “Hello!” Positive body language goes a long way toward making an excellent first impression.


Mistake #4: Poor Communication

It is vital to communicate clearly with your interviewer orally and in writing. Do not make the mistake of muttering or mumbling. It is unlikely that your interviewer will consider you for the job if he cannot understand what you are saying. Furthermore, beware of being too chatty, which is easy to do when one is nervous.

Most employers also anticipate neat handwriting. Sloppy handwriting suggests that a person may be lazy, insecure, careless, or unreliable. So, if you need to fill out paperwork at the office or you are required to bring handwritten forms to your interview, take a few extra seconds to write neatly. It will be worth your time.

Bonus Tip: You will communicate respect to your potential future employer by silencing your cell phone during your interview.


Mistake #5: Lacking Proof of Strong Credentials

Most companies look for a candidate with solid credentials. You submitted an application and resume in order to schedule your interview. However, it would be wise to bring a copy of your application, resume, and visible evidence of your qualifications. For example, if you have earned awards as an active community volunteer and your picture was in the paper, bring that newspaper clipping.

Take along an attractive-looking folder filled with organized information regarding your credentials, and don’t forget your references! Do not worry if you lack a long list of past employers. If this is your first job, interviewers will likely be impressed by a list including your skills, education, volunteer experience, apprenticeships, awards, and at least three solid references. Honesty, a good reputation, and a record of reliability go a long way to providing the strong credentials needed for a lasting employer-employee partnership.


You are well on your way to an excellent interview if you remember to avoid these five common mistakes! To further prepare for a stellar interview, feel free to read about the Best Job Interview Closing Tips and Techniques.