4 Interview Mistakes That Could Cost You the Job – and How to Avoid Them

Interview skills trainingSo you’ve gotten over the first significant hurdle of making it to interview stage with your professionally written career documentation. Now it’s time to consider that next major hurdle which is being interviewed. It’s a scary prospect for most of us. But if you’re prepared, the job jitters are far less likely to disrupt your interview stamina. You’re also giving yourself a much better chance of winning that desired role – of standing out from your competitors.

“So many people out there have no idea what they want to do for a living, but they think that by going on job interviews they’ll magically figure it out. If you’re not sure, that message comes out loud and clear in the interview.” (Todd Bermont, World-Leading Careers Coach)

As part of your groundwork, here are five areas I’d suggest you consider to better ensure a positive interview experience:

1) Lack of research could convey lack of confidence/capability

Even if you already conducted research prior to applying, once you’ve gotten the call-up, spend more time investigating the company, the role, as well as your most relevant offerings. Not only will this communicate your willingness to show initiative and go above and beyond, but you’re also more likely to feel empowered and self-assured during the interview.

  • Company research may also influence what you wear to the interview – what’s most appropriate.

“Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire.” (Dan Zevin, Award-Winning Author)

2) Misguided transport and inappropriate talk could convey unprofessionalism

Well-before your scheduled interview, spend time working out the most efficient route and car parking options (if relevant), and try to arrive 10-15 minutes early. It’s not going to do you any job-winning favours if you turn up late and/or flustered. Another professional no-no is talking negatively about former employers, even if you did have a really bad time. Instead, think about how you could turn this into a positive experience if asked about it, such as how you tried to resolve the situation.

  • Also consider body language during the interview – sit up straight, look straight ahead, and smile.

3) Focusing on your career expectations could convey self-centredness

As you may have already learnt from your professionally written career documentation, it’s far more about showing the employer what you can do for them – not what they can do for you. Keep this perspective alive while preparing for and attending the interview.

  • Convince the employer that you’re the best candidate to meet their specific job needs.

4) A lack of questions and answers could convey a lack of discipline

As part of your research, deliberate on what sort of questions you may be asked, as well as what you may want to ask. For example, if you’re asked about your professional weaknesses – a common interview question – think of one that you overcame and how that would benefit your new employer.

  • Also draft up some potential questions to ask them, based on your company research.

It’s such a competitive employment market, so why wouldn’t you want to continually stamp your stand-out skillset and capabilities – from when you first apply through to when the role officially becomes yours. Well-prepared, interview-savvy applicants are far more likely to register with the recruiters as ideal candidates.


Sarah Cronin Consulting helps job seekers to improve their skills in interviewing and presenting themselves as the ideal candidate for the position, assisting candidates to manage interview stress, negotiate salary packages, and ensure they are prepared for their job interview. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your needs further.

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