Common Interview Mishaps (And How To Avoid Them)

If you're already practicing and preparing for your interview and researching the company you're applying for, you're on the right track! We can also learn some valuable interviewing tips from mistakes made before us. Some of these tips might seem like common sense, but there are others that are more nuanced. For each ‘common mishap’, we also provide some guidance on how you can avoid this from happening to you!

  • Arriving Late

    If you can't make it in time for your interview, how can a hiring manager trust that you'll be on time for the job? Tardiness translates to lack of care and interest.
    How to avoid this mishap: If you're unfamiliar with the location of your interview, take a few moments to view it on a map and determine the best way to get there. Got extra time? Try getting there yourself so you know what the commute will be like.
  • Dressing Inappropriately

    It can be difficult to decide on the most appropriate attire for an interview. Sometimes, you might be applying at a company that has a very casual dress code. Be that as it may, that doesn't mean you should dress as if you just got out of bed or as if you're going to a night club.
    How to avoid this mishap: Doing some research on the company may help you determine whether you need to be in a full suit or if you can be in more business casual attire. Make sure that your garments are clean and wrinkle-free. Keep hair neat and tidy and stick with neutral colors with makeup.
  • Having limited to no knowledge of the company

    Lack of knowledge on a company could reflect poorly on your preparation for the interview. Remember: this is about the company just as much as it is about you.
    How to avoid this mishap: Unless this company has limited to no corporate presence online and/or in the media, you should have some sort of idea of what the company does and what they stand for.
  • Using your cell phone

    Your focus should be on the interview, not the activity on your phone. Texts and social media updates can wait. Think about it - you wouldn't have your phone out on a date - don't do it at an interview either.
    How to avoid this mishap: Put your phone on silent and keep it in your pocket or purse. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Inability to expand on your resume details

    If you can't talk in depth about the accomplishments and skills documented in your resume, it sheds authenticity and will make the hiring manager second-guess whether or not you're being earnest.
    How to avoid this mishap: Practice, practice, and practice some more! Read through your resume and know it inside out. Practice these common interview questions and use resume points to help answer the questions.
  • Putting down past employers

    Badmouthing past employers only makes you look unprofessional and petty. An interviewer could translate this as how you handle work conflicts. Additionally, your interviewer might have a relationship with someone from the same company you're throwing under the bus. That being said, that could negatively impact your reputation.
    How to avoid this mishap: If you are asked about a time you had to deal with, for example, a difficult client or a conflict with a supervisor, avoid badmouthing and answer with how you got through differences and ended in a resolution.

Interviewing Tips