25 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make At A Job Interview

Posted by , Updated on January 13, 2017

It’s something that almost all of us are going to have to go through at one point or another. Job interviews are a fact of life. We need money so we need to work (at least most of us do). To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the 25 biggest mistakes you can make at a job interview.

Featured Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12547460034


Ask what job you’re interviewing for

don't think about itSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/don-t-even-think-about-it-reminder-1432948/

This sounds obvious, but it can happen, especially when you’re running between interviews. A better way to structure this question would be to ask what a typical work day looks like.


Say negative things about yourself

thumbs downSource: quora, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_thumbs_down.svg

Only do this if you can explain how you will change them


Ask about the drug test

drug testSource: quora, Image: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Water-Medical-Lab-Research-Tube-Drug-Test-214185

Unless you are doing it to find out about its effect on your credit (it shouldn’t have any effect)


Chew gum

gumSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/chewing-gum-child-candy-dirty-1359237/

If you really need to do this out of nervousness, make sure to ask/tell your interviewer why you are doing it before you actually do it. That way you at least won’t look as disrespectful. It’s better just to avoid this though.


Bring your kids

kidsSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/kids-children-doodle-sketch-1099713/

Or your parents. Just don’t.


Fist bump the interviewer

fist bumpSource: quora, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chasingmechasingyou/13373233785

Use a regular, firm, right-handed handshake.

Note: we know you’re probably not crazy enough to do this but our point is to keep your greetings simple and formal.


Be late

clockSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/clock-time-pointer-time-of-watches-705672/

But don’t be too early either. Aim for about 15 minutes before your scheduled time.


Give the impression that you aren’t sticking around

byeSource: quora, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/latente/274852368

It’s okay to say that you want to go back to school eventually, it shows ambition. Just don’t make the interviewer feel like you’re leaving within the next few months.


Talk over the interviewer

speech bubblesSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/conversation-balloons-anger-545621/

This is another one that sounds obvious, but some people may do this out of nervousness. Fight the urge.



Focus on yourself

companySource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/businessmen-business-company-593751/

You might be asking, but how? What we mean is, don’t just ask questions pertaining to time off, salary, benefits, etc. And don’t make it sound like the only reason you want to work there is for the money. Rather, focus on how you fit into the company and how you can help the company solve the problems they are hiring you to solve.



suitSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/business-suit-business-man-690048/

If you are unsure about what to wear, suit up. Overdressing never hurt anybody.


Be rude to non-interviewers

be niceSource: quora, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/planeta/7843885942

Just because they’re not doing your interview doesn’t mean that they won’t be consulted. Your interview starts at the reception desk.



Ask how you did

noSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/no-negative-cards-spiral-68481/

It doesn’t matter how confident you appeared during the interview. This one question will destroy all of it.


Talk poorly about previous employers

positive negativeSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/positive-negative-contrast-455580/

This is a huge red flag. If you badmouth one company, what’s to stop you from saying negative things about another company?


Use words that you don’t know the meaning of

dictionarySource: quora, Image: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Meaning-Reference-Book-Learning-Dictionary-1619740

This is a quick way to make yourself look both pretentious and uneducated



lie truthSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/truth-lie-street-sign-contrast-257160/

Most people are terrible liars. And besides, if it’s not obvious right away, if your lie is ever found out it could potentially terminate your employment down the line.



Be somebody you’re not

fakeSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/fake-forgery-counterfeit-fraud-1726362/

If you’re a joker, be a joker. If you’re a nerd, be a nerd. Don’t put on a show unless you’re auditioning for a theatre or something like that.


Neglect hygiene

toothbrushSource: quora, Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/clean-mouth-teeth-dentist-40798/

Brush your teeth, comb your hair, iron your clothes, look sharp.


Bring your phone

phoneSource: quora, Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/google-nexus-4-lg-smartphone-technology-12829/

Leave it in the car. Just do it.


Stay seated when being introduced

handshakeSource: quora, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13903385550

Stand up. Always.


Ask about things that were stated in the job posting

questionsSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/questions-answers-question-mark-1014060/

It just makes it look like you didn’t actually read it. And on that note, make sure you actually read the job posting.


Wear too much perfume or cologne

perfumeSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/perfume-bottle-glass-bottles-678828/

A little is okay, too much is not okay.



Give a sob story

sorrySource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/sorry-excuse-me-shield-hands-1169945/

Everybody has a sob story, and sob stories are usually obvious. Don’t rely on it during an interview


Look desperate

please help meSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/hand-help-leave-font-text-please-66610/

This doesn’t mean to act smug or stuck up though. It just means that you shouldn’t make it look like your life is hanging on getting the job


Look like your time is being wasted

watchSource: quora, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/guysie/7600558274

Even if you’re applying to McDonalds, this will not earn you points with the recruiter

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