If you’ve ever walked out of an interview wanting to kick yourself because of the way you answered a question, or you’ve been on too many interviews to count and you still haven’t landed a job, you’ve probably made some of these interview mistakes.
Knowing what to say in an interview to impress your interviewers is an important skill that will give you a leg up on your job hunt. Making interview mistakes can happen to the best of us, but when you know what they are, you can actively avoid them in the future.
So when meeting with potential employers, make sure not to make these five interview mistakes that so many job seekers are continuously making.
Not Doing Your Research Ahead of Time
Do you really want to be at a disadvantage before you even walk into an interviewer’s office? If you fail to prepare for the interview ahead of time, you’re doing just that. Once you get a call for an interview, it’s time to start researching. Learn as much as you possibly can about the prospective employer and the interviewer. Check out the company’s website and social media pages, and learn more about the industry, the market, and the competition so you can impress your interviewer with your wealth of knowledge. You’ll be able to better translate your expertise with concrete examples of how you can be an asset to the company.
Additionally, research common interview questions ahead of time, so you can be prepared to answer the tough questions that your interviewers are going to ask. You don’t want to be a deer in the headlights.
Talking Too Much or Too Little
Both of these interview mistakes are pretty bad. When you talk too much, your over-sharing can be off-putting to your interviewers. When you ramble on when answering questions you make it seem like you can’t just get to the point. They might lose track of what you’re trying to say and your answers might get lost in your ramblings. Nervous over-talking is just as bad; it makes it seem like you have something to hide or that you’re lying.
On the other hand, when you talk too little—giving one-word answers—you won’t be able to properly convey your skills, knowledge, or expertise. Strike a balance between the two: thoroughly answer questions but be direct and succinct.
Being Negative about Your Past Employers
This is a major turn off for any prospective employer. It shows disrespect and a lack of appreciation—and if you’re talking negatively about your past employers, your interviewers may think you’ll do the same about their company. No matter how accurate or reasonable your complaints are, they’ll be viewed badly. Always put a positive spin on your past work experiences.
Speaking Too Freely about Income
Talking about salary and earnings is always awkward. But if you speak too freely about your current or past income, you can weaken your future earning potential. Your current or past earnings will have a big impact on the offer you get if you are hired. Your new employer could take thousands of dollars off your offer because you shared too much about your past income.
Not Asking Questions
Your interviewer will ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview. The worst thing you can say is that you have none. It shows your prospective employer that you’re not interested either in the job or the company or that you did not come in prepared. Come up with questions ahead of time that will impress your interviewers.