You might have the right skills, experience, and education. You might be completely qualified for the job. But you can still lose it if you make interview mistakes. Unfortunately, many great candidates fail to get their dream job because they don’t even realize that they’re making fatal interview mistakes.
Let your interviewers focus on your skills, experience, and stellar personality instead of your blunders and errors. To make sure you ace that interview, make sure you avoid these seven common, but very avoidable, interview mistakes.
1. Giving One-Word Responses
Being concise is good—you don’t want to be blathering on, getting off topic, and suddenly realizing that you’ve been talking about your kids, skiing, or gardening for the past 20 minutes.
One-word responses are just as bad and won’t suffice. Your interview is your time to showcase your personality and giving one-word answers won’t allow you to do that. You might be shy and nervous, but it’s time to break out of your comfort zone and make sure your answers are thorough and revealing.
2. Failing the “Weakness” Question
The dreaded weakness question. Every candidate knows it’s coming, but many still manage to answer it incorrectly. You may have been told to turn your weakness into a strength—like saying you’re just too much of a perfectionist—but doing so will make you sound arrogant and disingenuous. Plus, your interviewer has probably heard that answer a thousand times before.
Instead, choose one of your real weaknesses and explain how you’re trying to work on it. This will show that you take responsibility and that you are a problem solver coming up with solutions.
3. Not Researching the Company
If you don’t research the company before your interview, you will seem unprepared and uninterested in the job. You should be checking out the company’s website to learn more about its mission, values, and principles. You should be reading press releases, learning about the competition, and looking up your interviewers on LinkedIn.
You should understand what it’s all about and how you could be an asset if you were hired. Learn as much as you can, so you can impress with your knowledge.
4. Not Asking Questions
Asking questions during the interview shows that you’re engaged and involved. Asking questions at the end of the interview displays that you’re serious about the position and want to increase your knowledge to ensure you have all of the information you need. Come up with a few smart questions to ask—about the company’s vision for the future, about its day-to-day operations, or about its current projects, for example.
5. Not Discussing Salary
We know, talking about money can be awkward and uncomfortable, but you want to make a strong impression, show that you have goals, and know what you are worth. Don’t fidget and blush when the issue of your salary expectations comes up. To be more confident when answering the question, research the median salary for the job so you have a baseline to start the conversation with.
6. Insulting Your Current or Previous Employers
This is one of the worst interview mistakes you could make. Bashing your current or past employers will surely place you in a negative light and cost you the job. It doesn’t matter how much of a monster your previous boss was, it’s never acceptable to insult him. It’ll make you look unprofessional, vindictive, disloyal, and downright rude.
7. Not Following Up
You might be relieved when you walk out of the office once your interview is over, but your work isn’t done. You can’t forget to send a quick, polite follow-up email to your interviewer to thank him for the opportunity to interview with the company and state that you’re still interested in the job.
If you don’t want to mess up on your next interview, make sure you avoid these seven interview mistakes. They could cost you your dream job.