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Tips for Temps

What are the most common interview mistakes?

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Natalie Howard - 23 Nov, 2022

Head of CX

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Tips for Temps,

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What are the most common interview mistakes?

Every job interview is a chance to make a good first impression. When you're meeting with someone who's considering hiring you, it's helpful to know what can go wrong so that you can avoid making these mistakes.

Not being prepared

Here are the top three interview mistakes:

  • Not being prepared. Know the company, know the job description, and be able to talk about how you fit into it. Do your research on both the interviewer and what they are looking for in a candidate.
  • Being too nervous or excited to speak up during an interview. You’ll never get hired if you don't speak up!
  • Not asking enough questions about yourself and/or the company after an interview ends. You should always ask follow-up questions about why someone chose this particular position at a company that interests you; it will help you decide if it is really worth pursuing because something didn't seem quite right with either of those things from earlier conversations—either one may lead down another path completely unrelated (like having no experience working at all).

Dressing inappropriately

  • Dressing inappropriately
  • Not having a strong handshake
  • Arriving late for an interview
  • Appearing nervous or jittery during an interview
  • Asking questions only about salary, benefits and vacation days

Not knowing about the company

The best way to show you know about the company is by asking questions about it. You should be able to name the company’s mission statement, its values, products and services, and competitors—as well as how to pronounce its name. For example: “I see that you offer x product. Is there a reason why? What sets x apart from other similar products?”

Appearing rude or disrespectful

  • Appearing rude or disrespectful

This is probably one of the easiest mistakes to avoid—simply be respectful, and don't be rude! That can mean not interrupting when someone is speaking, not using offensive language (swear words are fine for some people, but others aren't comfortable with them), and not being overly casual with someone who has authority over you. It's all about basic manners and common courtesy here.

Faking your personality

The most common interview mistake is faking your personality.

During a job interview, you are either yourself or you're not. You can't pretend to be something you're not. If the interviewer likes what they see and hear in your answers, then they’ll know that you're a good fit for his company and the role.

You should be honest about your skills and experience because they will help them decide if they want to hire you or not. If there's anything that might jeopardise your chances at getting this job (e.g., poor attendance at previous jobs), tell them about it right away so they know everything there is to know about what kind of employee they would be getting if they hire you (and hopefully won't mind!).

Rambling on and not listening

Rambling on and not listening to the interviewer.

It’s often easier to talk than it is to listen, but you should be paying attention and responding to what the interviewer is saying. If you don’t know what they are asking, ask them to clarify.

If you do have questions of your own that need answering before moving on in the interview process or if there is something specific you want feedback on—but only after they have finished asking their questions! You don’t want them thinking that your questions are less important than theirs are (even if this may be true).


The most common interview mistakes are:

  • Lying about your skills and experience. Don’t exaggerate your accomplishments, either. You may think it will help you land a job, but in reality it will only hurt you later when the company realises that you can't do what they hired you for.
  • Faking or exaggerating your personality or character traits during an interview. If they ask if you like working with others, don't reply “Yes! I love being around people!” unless that's actually true—and even then keep answers to questions like these short and sweet (no more than three sentences).
  • Making up a story about why there is an unexplained gap on your resume or job history; this is likely just going to make them suspicious and distrustful of everything else that comes out of your mouth during the interview process as well.

Chewing gum, eating, or drinking during an interview

Nail down the basics of good interview etiquette and you'll be much more likely to make a good first impression. First off, don't chew gum during an interview. This is common sense, but not everyone follows it! Chewing gum can be distracting for both you and your interviewer, leading to poor body language or worse—a hard-to-read facial expression or tone of voice that makes it difficult for them to gauge how well you're doing in the conversation. You should also avoid eating or drinking anything during an interview (like coffee). Even if it's just water, don't drink anything that could make your breath smell unappealing or cause loud slurping noises while sipping on it.

Lastly, if there's any chance at all that a particular food might cause gas or other noises that might distract from your talking points (and thus derail your chances at getting hired), just avoid eating those types of foods altogether during interviews!

Not following up after the interview

Send a thank you note, make a phone call and/or ask if you can get more information about the job. Many employers will appreciate your initiative.


The bottom line is that you want to make sure your interview is as good as it can be. You don’t have just one chance at an interview, but many opportunities to show off what you have to offer. Make sure that you are prepared in advance by doing research on both yourself and the company so that everything goes smoothly and easily for both sides during this process!

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