The 7 Biggest Interview Mistakes You Can Make

by Dec 6, 2016

Congratulations, you’ve got an interview! Just be sure you don’t make these common interview mistakes.

1. Stressing about things you can’t change

You’ve landed the interview and now you’re worried about how you’ll compare to other candidates. What if they’re more experienced? Have better skills? Got higher marks at university? Don’t waste your time and self-esteem by worrying about things you can’t control – instead, focus on putting all that effort into changing things you can.

2. Not fixing things you can change

You don’t know how to answer the question about weaknesses, you have no idea what a behavioural question is, and you’re unsure what to ask at the end of the interview? You’ve got control over these things, so hurry up and fix them! If you need help, come and have a chat with the professionals at UTS:Careers and get some advice.

3. Focusing on whether the interviewer likes you

It’s natural to want to be liked by the person interviewing you, but it’s a huge distraction and pretty pointless trying to work out how the interviewer feels about you mid-interview.  A much better approach is to make a decision even before you arrive that you’re going to like the interviewer, regardless of whether they’re someone you’d usually get along with.

 4. Speaking negatively about anything

Your last boss underpaid you, you were let down on a group assignment at university, and you’ve been applying for jobs for months and not getting interviews. Even though these things are not your fault, don’t bring them up in the interview! Because in the eyes of the interviewer, that negativity will attach to you.

5. Forgetting that you’re an excellent candidate

 It’s easy to think of all the reasons why you might not be the perfect candidate for the job. But organisations don’t waste their time interviewing bad candidates, so as far as they’re concerned, you’re already a brilliant choice! Be sure to keep that in mind as you head into the interview.

6. Emphasising soft skills at the expense of hard skills

It’s great that you’ve got good communication skills, are a team player, and have excellent time management abilities. But the core criteria of most jobs are the hard skills – the specific knowledge and abilities directly related to the role. So make sure you give your hard skills prominence when talking about your strengths.

7. Rehearsing answers in your head

In the days leading up to the interview, prepare your answers and practice them out loud. You can do this alone or with a friend. The important thing is that you’re rehearsing out loud rather than in your head, because this mimics what you’ll be doing in the interview.


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

By Ellen Rodger

By Ellen Rodger

Careers Advisor

Ellen Rodger is a Careers Advisor with over 10 years’ experience in helping people reach their career goals. As a Careers Consultant at UTS, she delivers careers-related workshops and provides one-on-one career counselling to students.