Mistakes to avoid in an interview

What To Avoid In An Interview

Mistakes to avoid in an interview

In the earlier posts, you had an insight into a few of the aspects that could lead you to land your dream job.

We have seen in detail the following, 1. How to build the perfect resume and 2. The best practices to be followed in an interview.

In the previous blog, we started with the preparation stage and learned the goal of an interview. Companies are always in search of the best candidate who would deliver beyond expectations and hence the entire responsibility is on you to prove to the interviewer that, YOU are the ideal candidate. Showcasing your skills, abilities, achievements and the value you can bring to the table needs to be precisely explained to ensure you grab the opportunity of getting employed.

While in the previous blog we explored the best practices, it’s time to now look at “Things to Avoid in an interview”.


Do not be desperate

Considering all the issues you are currently facing in your job, never be in a mad rush and never be desperate to join any organization.

The biggest mistake people commit is trying to escape one bad workplace, getting desperate, and settling for something lesser. You could end up with lesser pay or in a less reputed organization. Or still worse, you could end up in an organization that is far worse than where you are right now.

Do your research. Try to find out what the company work culture is like. Bide your time, be patient, make sure you move your resume only when you are happy with all aspects of the organization, considering not just the job responsibilities but also the culture.


Not Knowing Your Worth

When you begin applying for jobs, it is important to know the remuneration in the market for your designation, and/or experience.

Identify what is your worth by getting in touch with people who hold an almost similar qualification, certifications and your work experience.

You can take a look at a few job websites giving you an insight into this. Try to contact some of your peers, friends, or former co-workers to get an idea about the package that you could expect if you were to join their company.

If you don’t get your worth, you need to wonder, what you would get out of taking up this offer. If you have the opportunity to learn or if you think you will be able to accomplish something that would be of some good use to you and you are willing to a pay cut keeping in mind your future growth, then it is a choice for you to make.

However, getting into a job hunt, without knowing your worth is a complete no-no.


Badmouthing Your Current / Past Employers

Doesn’t matter how horrible your experience has been, doesn’t even matter if you get nightmares about your workplace and your boss. Never say anything against your current or your past employers.

If there is something that interviewers’ hate listening to, this would be at the very top of their list.

Speaking ill about your past employment would only trigger the interviewer to think that you would do the same about their company if you get offered. Speaking negatively about any employer or a co-worker, however subtly is as good as setting fire to your chances in the interview.

Mistakes to avoid in an interview
Image Courtesy Freepik.com

Dropping Your Professionalism

Maintain a high level of professionalism from the moment you set foot into the office premises, till you step out. Do not show your frustration or converse in a rude manner, with anyone, right from the security person.

This doesn’t mean you go around making too many jokes or try to get too friendly with anyone, especially the interviewer. Never get carried away into telling personal stories in your interview.

You are not out there to make friends. You are out there to secure a job, stick to that task, and nothing else.


Not Remembering Details

Be sure to remember the job profile that you are applying for.

Make sure you remember all the previous places you have worked at and the job profiles and the duration of the work.

Don’t stress yourself to be way too accurate about this because your interviewer has your resume to look through, but you should be able to, if you are someone who has trouble remembering details, make notes of the most important highlights so you can go through.


Talking Too Much

Keep your answers short. Don’t get into speaking in circles or be extremely detailed while answering questions, unless you are asked to do so.

Talking too much could be seen as a sign of nervousness or a sign of you trying hard to convince, cover-up or make something up.

So rehearse some of the most common questions that are asked in interviews in your domain.


Speaking Very Little

A bigger mistake you could commit in an interview is to underutilize the opportunity you have in hand to explain yourself.

Never expect the interviewer to assume things, you need to be as clear as possible in showcasing your abilities, your skills, and most importantly your achievements.

List out specific events, specific incidents that describe you as a person and showcase your work ethic.


Don’t Brag About Yourself

Although you are there to portray yourself as the best candidate, it is important that you don’t end up looking like you are bragging about yourself.

Draw a balance, don’t try to make yourself look like a hero. Sound modest and don’t try to hype things up beyond any necessity.

Image courtesy : Freepik.com

Not Putting Your Phone on Silent Mode

Amid everything that is going on in your head, sometimes it might just slip out of your mind and you might walk into the interview room, with your phone in normal mode.

You don’t want to look unprofessional and let your phone ring out in full volume while you are out there trying to secure your dream move.

So make it a point to either shut off your phone or at least put it in silent mode.

Now, we all need to stay connected, however, don’t use the phone, when you are waiting in the lobby. Avoid the urge to check for messages or replying to messages. Avoid having long funny conversations with anyone while you are waiting for your turn.

If you have to have any conversations with anyone, step out of the building and make the call. Keep the call short, and return as soon as possible.

Also make it a point to let the person in the reception know, that you would be stepping out for a minute.


Not Preparing Enough

This is definitely one of the biggest, if not the biggest mistake that you commit in an interview. Take the time out to prepare well. Familiarize yourself with the basics of the company.

Brush up all the basics of your domain and learn about all the latest developments in your domain.


Unprofessional Appearance

Not putting an effort into your appearance would make it look like you are not serious about the job or the company.

Opt for a neatly pressed formal or semi-formal attire. Please be well-groomed.


Not Getting Enough Rest 

Try to get a good night’s rest. There is nothing worse than you walking into your interview looking tired and drowsy.

Prepare well and try to call it a day early. Get enough time to relax and try to get a nice relaxed sleep the night before the interview.


Not Paying Attention

This goes without saying. You cannot be sitting in the interview and not pay attention to the questions being asked or let your concentration drift for even a fraction of a second. Always be attentive.  

Avoid getting the interviewer to repeat questions over and over again unless you want them to rephrase. Or still worse, ending up with an answer that has nothing to do with the question that was asked.

You are there to secure the job, so everything else can wait.



It is hard enough to get through interviews, with all the competition and the rising expectations of employers. So in this scenario, it is very important that you don’t make the journey harder for yourself.

You need to make sure that you carry yourself in the best possible manner. You need to make sure you portray yourself as the best candidate possible.

It is important that you avoid being very desperate about switching jobs, be very careful while choosing the company that you want to apply for a position.

Know what you are worth, spend time researching a little about the prevailing pay packages for the post that you are applying for.

No matter what you say, never portray any of your employers or your former co-workers or bosses in a bad light.

Maintain your high professionalism levels all the while that you are on the premises. Treat everyone with respect, right from the security person to the interviewers.

Brush up on all the details of your professional life, don’t look clueless when the interviewer asks you details about your career.

Maintain a good balance while answering questions, avoid speaking too much, get to the point as soon as you can. However, you need to make sure that you showcase yourself in the best light possible. Do not miss out on the opportunity to talk about all your achievements and your abilities. Do so, without making it look like you are bragging about yourself.

Follow the right etiquette with your phone, either turn it off or put it on silent mode while you are in the office premises. Avoid the urge to check for messages or getting into some long conversations on the phone.

Prepare well, research about the company that you are applying in. Brush up on the basics of your domain and know the current trends in your domain.

Dress professionally and make sure you are well-rested, turning up for the interview looking all tired is not a good sign.

Finally, give all your attention to the interviewer and avoid distractions.

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