Common interviewing mistakes

There are numerous interviewing mistakes which employers notice. Many interview problems arise from being unprepared or not prepared enough for the interview. Here is a list of the most common interviewing mistakes stated by employers about applicants.


Interview problems usually involve issues with timing.

  • Arrives late - this is one of the worst first impressions you can make
  • Simply leaves after the interview - failing to close or ask about timelines for hiring decisions


Most interviewing mistakes can be avoided with proper appearance.

  • Poor appearance - inappropriate dress, or lack of grooming
  • Smells bad - reeks of cologne or foul odor


One of the main problems with applicants during interviews is they fail to check their attitude before the interview. Some examples would include the following:

  • Negative attitude - shows negative, overbearing, aggressive attitude or has negative comments about others upon sight
  • Communicates dishonesty or deception - uses canned answers, avoids probing questions
  • Offers bad excuses - fails to take responsibility or throws blame on others
  • Speaks negative about past employers or co-workers - often has little positive to say about others, most likely self-centered

First Impressions

First impressions mean everything in an interview. If you present a bad first impression you are not going to get the job.

  • Bad impression while waiting - disrupts operations or seems objectionable to employees

Answers and Education

One of the biggest problems during interviews is an applicants appearance of intelligence, or lack of. Your biggest mistake during interviewing is showing a lack of intelligence.

  • Appearing incoherent or unfocused - offers incomplete thoughts, jumps between ideas, loses track of the conversation
  • Inarticulate - poor speech or grammar; uses jargon or slang when speaking
  • Incomplete answers - offers simply 'yes' or 'no' to questions requiring thought
  • Seeming evasive - when asked about background, moves to another topic
  • Talking too much - probably a sign of a gossip or someone who waists time talking instead of working
  • Failing to discuss accomplishments - simply reviews job duties
  • Poor listening skills - doesn't' pay attention to questions
  • Never asking questions - shows no interest in the job or the company

Overall Impressions

These interviewing mistakes go along with first impressions above. Problems with interview applicants can be found by employers for any of the following reasons.

  • Lacks direction - applicant is looking for a paycheck not a cause or career
  • Volunteers unnecessary information - applicant talks about religion, politics or family life
  • Shows little enthusiasm or drive - no evidence of being a self-starter or showing initiative
  • Lacks self-esteem - applicant communicates uncertainty or is unsure of themselves
  • Is superficial - looks like the job books tell them too but has no substance when asked ''what if'' questions
  • Shows no interest in the company - asks the question ''what do you do here''
  • Wants information about salary and benefits early on - over concerned about money
  • Appearing needy or greedy - talks a great deal about finances and financial compensation


Simply put, this is an interview not your living room. A huge interviewing mistake is not presenting yourself as professional overall. Problems with interviews can easily be fixed by a professional businesslike approach to the interview, employer and the company.

  • Inappropriate behavior - shows off scars or muscles or family pictures; flirts with employees or interviewer
  • Discourteous or ill-mannered - does not engage the interviewer, pays attention to other things or people during the interview, simply leaves without a thank you
  • Tells inappropriate jokes - smart aleck who laughs at his own jokes

Dealing with these potential interview problems before the interview will greatly add to your advantage and reduce interviewing mistakes which could cost you a job.