ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Interview advice-10 biggest interview mistakes

Updated on January 19, 2015

A friend of mine once told me a story of a job candidate who felt a little too comfortable in the interview. "Imagine, she got up, went to the staff kitchen and helped herself to some cream for her coffee." Needless to say, the woman didn't get the job. Much has been written about how to be successful in an interview from how to prepare to how to answer questions. Here are some things you shouldn't do in an interview.

1. Don't bring any coffee or food to the interview. Trust me, the coffee wiill spill. The garlic in the pastrami will start to smell. If you bring anything, it should be extra copies of your resume and cover letter.

2. Avoid too much chit chat with interviewer to get on his or her good side. Some small talk or ice breaking comments at the beginning are OK. This is a business meeting, not a social meeting. Maintain your focus on discussing qualifications and interest in the job.

3. Don't control the conversation. Let the interviewer ask the questions. Your job is to answer them. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask some appropriate questions towards the end of the interview. Asking well-thought out questions shows interest and preparation, but asking too many questions could suggest poor listening skills or non-co-operation. Just remember, the goal of the conversation is to determine if you are a good fit for the job, not if you know how to dominate a conversation.

4. Try not to over-answer a question. Watch for cues from the interviewer that signal that it’s time to stop talking. If he/she starts looking away or shifting position then you've probably said enough. Believe it or not, interviewers hate it when you talk to much. Some even think it’s the worst mistake you can make. And many of us make this mistake to compensate for nervousness. The interview is meant to be a two-way conversation.Consider practicing through video-taped mock interviews with friends, family, trusted colleagues, or even a community employment center. Practice makes perfect, and will help you with nervousness.

5. Try not to mumble. It is important that you are understandable to the interviewer. Thus, it is important to speak up and speak clearly when you are at a job interview. Certainly you will need the interviewer to understand that you are qualified for the job. But he/she can’t even understand you, how can anyone work with you? Again, try doing some mock interviews to overcome this problem.

6. Avoid being negative: Your previous employer may have been a jerk or a tyrant. Drawing attention to this portrays you as being critical and gossipy. Try to re-frame your past experiences to convey what you learned.

7. Avoid arguing with the interviewer:  unless, of course, you don’t want the job. Be positive and try to not to cross the line between confidence and arrogance.

Top interview mistakes -mock interview

8. Not knowing anything about the company is also another faux pas: Doing your homework means you can have a well-informed discussion about the company and about whether or not you are a good fit for the corporate culture and the position.

9. Don't come late to the interview: Did your car break down, was traffic bad, did your dog get sick? These are not really good excuses. If you come late to the interview, chances are you’ll come late to work. Try to pre-plan your route to this interview site, and give yourself extra time to get there on the day of the interview.Aim to arrive about 10 minutes before the start of the interview.

10. Don't focus on money too soon. Who do you care about more: You or the employer? In the interview, it's best to communicate how valuable you might be to the organization before thinking about money. If the employer is serious about hiring you money discussion will be a next step. Otherwise, you will appear to be more self-absorbed and less interested in the company.

Watch out for some of these


Submit a Comment

  • Rhonda_M profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Malomet 

    8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    The coffee story is true. Every now and then I see an article with these kinds of stories. In one case, someone had to stop the interview and call their therapist!

  • Angela Harris profile image

    Angela Harris 

    8 years ago from Around the USA

    Great suggestions. I can't believe the story in the beginning about the woman and the coffee. Wow.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)