15 Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs


Job interviews can feel like the ultimate test, with every answer, gesture, and expression under scrutiny. It’s easy to make mistakes, especially when nerves get the best of us. But don’t worry—you’re not alone! With insights from recent surveys and expert advice, we’ve compiled a list of 15 common interview mistakes and how to avoid them. Let’s get started!

Arriving Late


Poor time management and delay are unacceptable. Plan your route and factor in delays to ensure you arrive 10 minutes early. If an emergency arises, immediately inform your contact person and apologize for your tardiness. Being late translates to a lack of respect for the interviewer’s time and can create a negative first impression.

Dressing Inappropriately

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Clothes should be clean, pressed, and professional. Ripped jeans and trainers won’t cut it. Remember that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Avoid anything you’d wear on a night out. Your attire should be appropriate for the company culture. Research the dress code beforehand and aim for a polished, well-groomed appearance.

Being Arrogant


Overconfidence and arrogance are major turnoffs. Avoid talking down to the interviewer. Instead, provide objective evidence of your achievements. Confidence is great, but arrogance can come across as insecurity. Aim for a humble, respectful tone and focus on highlighting your relevant skills and experiences.

Criticizing Past Employers


Never complain about colleagues or superiors. This makes you seem disloyal and negative. Instead, emphasize the positive steps you took to overcome challenges. Avoid speaking ill of previous employers, even if you had a negative experience. Focus on the lessons you learned and how you grew from those challenges.

Bringing Up Salary


Avoid discussing salary, benefits, and perks on the first interview unless initiated by the interviewer. Save these topics for subsequent interviews. Talking about compensation too early can make you seem more interested in the money than the job itself. It is better to wait for the interviewer to bring up the subject or until you have a firm offer.

Fidgeting with Unnecessary Props


Avoid fidgeting with pens, your phone, or other objects. It’s distracting and unprofessional, and you may appear nervous or distracted. Practice keeping your hands still and focusing on the interviewer to avoid this habit.

Failing to Ask Questions


When you are done with the interview, the hiring manager will ask you whether you have any questions. Surprisingly, the most common answer is no. This is a missed opportunity to show interest in the role and company. Always have thoughtful questions prepared to demonstrate your engagement and interest in the company and position.

Talking Too Much or Too Little


Find the right balance between waffling and being too brief. Take a moment to gather your thoughts before responding. Practice answers to common questions beforehand to avoid blanking out. Try out concise, well-structured responses that highlight your key points.

Appearing Disinterested


A lack of interest is a major turnoff. Research the company and role thoroughly before the interview. Demonstrate your enthusiasm and knowledge throughout through your body language, tone, and the questions you ask. Interviewers want to see that you’re genuinely excited about the opportunity.

Forgetting the Connection Between CV and Interview


Be prepared to discuss anything on your CV or resume in great detail. Interviewers will likely ask about the experiences and skills listed in your application materials. Be ready to elaborate on these points and connect them to your interviewing role.

Not Listening


Staying engaged and focused is key to getting that dream job. If you feel your attention slipping, take deep breaths and sip water. You should focus on maintaining eye contact and try to actively listen. Avoid mentally preparing your next answer while the interviewer is speaking.

Bringing Up Controversial Topics

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Do not discuss controversial topics like politics, religion, or personal information unless the interviewer asks. Keep the conversation professional and focused on the job and your qualifications.

Forgetting the Basics


Dirty fingernails, food in your teeth, or worn-out clothing are small but noticeable mistakes. Carefully check your appearance before the interview. These small things can make a big difference in your overall professional appearance.

Losing Your Cool


Reacting angrily to critical questions will not work in your favor. Stay calm, professional, and composed at all times. Interviewers may ask challenging questions to gauge your ability to handle stress. Avoid getting defensive or losing your temper. Take a breath, pause, and respond calmly and professionally.

Forcing the Job Conditions


Premature questions about the job’s conditions can sometimes be a mistake. Wait for the interviewer’s offer before discussing specifics. Avoid bringing up vacation time, remote work options, or other job conditions until you have a firm offer. Discussing these topics too early can make you seem more focused on the perks than the actual work.


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