Interview Mistakes and How They Can Be Avoided

There are roadblocks we have encountered in life and we know for a fact that if we were aware of those paths or had been informed earlier, we most likely would have gone past where we are or achieved results faster. And the annoying thing is that these roadblocks are most times minute things we know could have been avoided if only we had someone to guide us through.

Interviews can seem like you are in an interrogation session trying to buy your way out. It would most likely feel this way for new grads who are just getting into the labor market. But it is ok to feel this way and even make mistakes on your first interview. You would become better on your next interview if you take the time to prepare and avoid these common interview mistakes.


Punctuality is a highly required quality in every organization. Because organizations know how important it is in affecting one’s productivity at work, it is like one of the highly sought-after skills. This is why you need to arrive at the interview venue at least, 10-15 minutes earlier. This will help make a good first impression, ticking the first box right.

Untidy/wrong dress

It is a corporate world where things are done corporately from how you eat (at work, or a conference) to how you treat your job. The corporate world requires you to be formal in almost everything. Because organizational skill is one of the highly sought-after soft skills, looking untidy gives the recruiter a quick impression that the candidate lacks organizational skills. This is why it would be a red flag created from your end to have an untidy look such as a rumpled shirt or skirt, uncombed or old looking hair, too full beards (some organizations and fields have a restriction when it comes to keeping of beards), informal work outfit, etc. Although not all organizations require formal dressing, so, in your next interview, make some research about the organization’s way of dressing.

Indecent dressing such as clothes that reveal places of the body that should be kept private, leaving the trousers below the appropriate position, tinted hair, etc. should be avoided when going for interviews.

You could look decent and tidy yet wearing the wrong outfit. Wearing the wrong outfit could make you look unprofessional and incompetent. For ladies, it is appropriate you let your skirt be at least, a little below the knees or on knee-length, skirt or gown should be straight or penciled, hair should be smartly parked, footwear should be at least 1 inch high, avoid adorning yourself with too much jewelry, etc. For the men, always have your tie knotted when going for an interview, shoes should have a little heel (avoid heelless shoes), avoid belts with huge designs at the front, etc.

It is also important to add that when going for an interview, you should practice using mild deodorants. Avoid harsh/strong deodorants that fill an entire room upon your arrival. Go for mild deodorants.

Not researching about the organization

It would be a total disaster if you go for an interview, a basic question regarding the company is asked, and you have no idea because you did not research about the company. Questions regarding the company would be the basic question a candidate should know right before applying to the organization. Basic questions such as ‘What do XYZ do?’ Recruiters will never ask questions regarding the organization that, if candidates were to research about before interview, would take hours or days before getting the right information. Instead, information that can be easily researched online or gotten from the company’s website is what they would expect you should know. So, it would be a disappointment if as a candidate, you end up failing those questions or be without an idea of the answer.

Overly confident

It is ok to be confident. It is a very beautiful quality. But when you are overly confident, your interviewer could perceive you to be arrogant or feeling you know it all as in the “I Know it All” kind of people. No one would love to hire an “I know it all” kind of person because employers would be scared that the person would not be a good team player.

Speaking ill of past bosses

Don’t even do this. This is a total turnoff to employers. The irony about this is that, when a candidate makes bad comments about his/her previous employer(s) intending to paint the previous boss bad, the recruiter sees two things; that the candidate possess some negative aura and they feel the candidate is also going to bad mouth them to s/he next recruiter if s/he ever get to work for them. Whether your previous boss was a terrible person that chokes the life out of employees or not, your recruiter is not entitled to this information. You could give them the information later by the time you have been employed and have built relationships in the long run (maybe they would believe you then). Just leave this information out of the whole interview session. It only creates an aura of bad energy that will work against you. Recruiters view this act as a big red flag.

Not asking questions

Recruiters like it when you ask them questions. It makes them feel you are interested and curious in knowing about their organization. It also poses you as an intelligent person and every recruiter would love to recruit intelligent candidates. It is also important that you don’t overdo this. Don’t ask too many questions. I once watched a video where a recruiter said a candidate asked him over 50 questions, all of which he answered but he did not give the candidate the job.

  • Avoid asking obvious questions – you might be pressured with the need to ask questions during an interview just for the sake of wanting to impress the recruiter, as a result, you decide to ask questions that you know the answer to. Recruiters would suspect that you are only trying to avoid not asking questions at all.

Discussing salary and benefits too soon

Everyone knows that we are all working because we want a monetary return on investment for our time. But coming out too soon to ask about the salary, benefits, incentives, etc. during an interview would display one as being overly money conscious and this could scare your recruiter(s).

These are some of the deadly interview mistakes that can be avoided if a conscious effort is made at avoiding them. For contributions, comments, suggestions, kindly share with us in the comment section below.

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