By Joe Donahue

It happens all the time. A candidate looks great on paper, but then doesn’t deliver as expected once they get to their interview. After seeing this play out over the course of more than three decades, I’ve seen a number of clear trends in how interviews can be bombed by an applicant. Here are seven of the most common interview blunders all job seekers should avoid.

1. Nerves

It happens to the best of us, especially when something as important as a job interview comes up. You can avoid nerves by rehearsing your interview beforehand. Go over common questions and get your confidence ready before you walk in the door.

2. Improper Dress

This is a big one, and it ties into the company knowledge section later. The most important thing to remember here is to know the environment you're going to be working in. Take a look at the company’s social media posts in the days before your interview and note what people are wearing. Dress in a similar manner or slightly more formally for your interview.

3. The Wrong Answers

Practice makes perfect. You need to sit down long before your interview and research potential interview questions. Once you have those down, you need to take time to write out your answers several times and determine what you think sounds best.

4. Being Late

Stuff happens, we all get that. However, your potential employer won't. It's important that you take every precaution possible to make sure that you are not late on the day of your interview. In fact, you should plan to arrive 20 minutes early, if not more. The time you walk in the door sets the tone for the rest of the interview. You cannot be late.

5. Lack of Company Knowledge

Often overlooked is researching the company you're applying to beforehand. It can be very easy to just fire out job applications waiting for one to stick, and that's fine. However, the moment you secure an interview you need to make sure you know everything you can about the company looking to hire you. Things like dress code, owner, CEO, industry, products/services, work environment... the list goes on.

6. Forgetting to Ask Questions

When you get to the end of your interview chances are that the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them. This is a curveball for a lot of potential employees, and most people just decline and end the interview right then and there. That is a mistake. You should have a list of questions prepared before you walk in the door. Questions such as "Why did this position open up?" or "Could you describe the workplace environment?" will go a long way in showing that you did your homework.

7. The Wrong Frame of Mind

Last but not least is your frame of mind. You can't go into the interview appearing desperate or nervous. You need to see yourself as an asset for your potential employer, not the other way around. You are the solution to their problem and you are the person they need for the job.


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