Common Interview Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

No interview is perfect because there will always be areas for improvement. Our FastForward Career Coaches say they’ve spotted a number of interview mistakes on a regular basis. Here are three common interview slip-ups, along with our take on how to avoid them in job interviews.

Not showing your interest in the employer.
Interviewers often ask job applicants if they have any questions, and your answer should always be YES. As a potential employee, you should show some interest in the employer. Prepare a handful of questions in advance of your interview. Questions like, “What are some current projects the company is working on?” or “What is your favorite part about working here?” are great conversation starters.

Not relating your skills and strengths to the requirements of the job.
“One common mistake is overlooking how important it is to tie skills and strengths to the requirements the company is looking for,” says Barbara Rang, a FastForward Career Coach at Eastern Shore Community College. “Students need to not only answer the interview questions but to find ways they can use their own experiences and values to show the employer why they make a good fit.” For example, don’t just say you’re a certified welder. You should talk about how your training in shielded metal arc welding works well with the type of work you would be required to do on the job.

Lacking confidence and being self-defeating.
You should never come across as arrogant, but you do want to demonstrate confidence in your skills, along with your willingness to learn. And do your best to avoiding language fillers like “ums” and “ahs” and “you know.” Show you’ve done a little homework by communicating your knowledge about the company and its work. Focus on the positive. Don’t say negative things about yourself, and NEVER bad-mouth others.

Are you looking to change your career? FastForward Career Coaches are trained to help you find the right career path for you (and can help you navigate the interview and job application process). Reach out using our contact form to start a conversation.