10 Mistakes I Made During My Interviews

Every time we go for an interview, we experience something new as each interview is different because of the factors we can’t control, especially the interviewer. Each time we discover some or the other trait in us which unfortunately, more often than not, kills the chances of getting selected for a job. It is mostly when we are caught off guard and unprepared that we make some mistakes which we may not realize immediately or think that it’s not a big deal. But you never know.
Today I would be sharing with you ten mistakes I have made during interviews. I hope you will learn from them and will not be subjected to rejection. These mistakes which will help you in identifying what you need to keep in mind for interviews and will prevent minor mistakes which may have a major impact on the future.

1.  Not planning the attire beforehand.
This one happened while I went for my High School admissions. Parents weren't at home and one of my buddies just turned up and reminded me that I had my school admission lined up for the day. I turned up wearing casual shirt and jeans. The interviewer’s first question to me was, “Don’t you know you have to wear formals at interview?”
In an interview, the first impression helps you get the attention of the interviewer. Interviewers have to make snap judgments about the candidates, thus dressing appropriately will help you get the first step right. Don’t overdo or under do it. And ensure that your clothes are ironed and don’t have any stains or marks on them. If you think you will dirty them on the way, wear a jacket or carry a change. Also, have your shoes polished. Having these minute details in order may not necessarily give you an advantage over others, but if you don’t pay enough attention, they can easily kill your chance of making a good impression.

2.   Having an untidy or unclean outlook.
After Learning from my previous experience in my second interview in for an internship I went wearing formals. It was out of town and I had traveled overnight. Tired and little shabby I made my next interview blunder of my life.
You don’t need make up. Just make sure that your face is clean, hair done smartly and have a slight smile on your face. If you look glum, it gives an impression of being uninterested or being preoccupied with something other than the interview, which sends the wrong message. Also, don’t grin and make the interviewer feel that you are laughing at them!

3.   Failing to carry the necessary documents/stationary
During my internship (which I got after a lot of toil), I received a call from another organization where I had applied. I desperately wanted to make a switch as that other organization was more reputed and had a history where interns got a direct job. So there I was during my lunch hour with just a pen-drive containing scanned copies of my resume and other qualification certificates. I asked a guy over there if I could just get the print-outs as I came directly from my job and didn’t get time. He made face but got me the print-outs. Finally my chance for interview came and to my utter shock the person taking my interview was the same guy. During the rest of my interview I was just preoccupied of my blunder and his face just made me lose all my confidence.
It is a good idea to have a notepad and pen with you. Also, get all the necessary documents and don’t wait for the print out or photocopies for the last minute, especially if you don’t have these facilities available at your place. Caring about your own things sends across a message of being responsible for your own work.

4.   Showing too much pride
After my great final year results in college, I was over the moon. I was confident (or was it my over-confidence) I would get the best job among my peers. I still remember how I ruined my chances of getting the best on-campus package. Interviewer asked me a simple question why I scored so well in my exams. I started telling him about how focused I was during my final semester and spent time studying. I don’t remember at what point of time I forgot I was in an interview, I just kept going on and on.
If you have had significant achievements, be sure to mention them but do not go on bragging. Talking a lot about your achievements shows that you are too proud of your work. This in turn implies that you are more interested in boasting about yourself than the interview. You need to convey that you will be able to adapt to the job soon and then reassure them about your capability by sighting an example of your previous accomplishments.

5.   Joking with the interviewer
This interview blunder was made not by me but one of my friends. He is called the entertainer of our group and has the ability to come up with those witty one-liners which can make you laugh. He had gone for an interview for some serious job and unfortunately made it a joke for himself.
Well there are some of us who believe they can crack up anyone. But alas, when you are going for an interview it’s not you who has this power. The interviewer may ask you casual questions or even joke around a bit to make you feel at ease. But that doesn’t mean that he’s in a mood for your jokes. Always be on the safer side. You don’t know the interviewer and can’t predict his reactions.

6.   Taking too long to answer
This mistake I have made in nearly all my failed interviews, am pretty sure we all are aware of what happens when interviewer asks something which we are not prepared for or weren't expecting them to ask.
It’s okay to do this once but make sure you don’t repeat it. This is one of the mistakes that make you lose a good chance. If you do this, it implies that either you are thinking too much to make up a lie or you are too distracted and need some time to get back to the interview. To cover up, be confident and don’t feel guilty about it.

7.   Saying “What?”
Saying this deadly word will probably be the worst of the things you can do. It just shows that you are so distracted and uninterested in the interview that you don’t even care to listen what is being asked. If at all you don’t understand what the interviewer is asking you, a smart way of asking is to use their sentence as a question. For example, if the interviewer asks, “what is meant by xyz”?, and you don’t get it, you can reply, “xyz?” instead of “what?” or “can you repeat that?” etc.

8.   Getting worked up about mistakes
This often happens with me as I am not able to forget things easily. This attribute can be deadly especially during interviews where you need to forget previous questions and take one question at a time. If you answer some question incorrectly, don’t let it show on your face, just let it go. Focus on getting rest of the things right. The more you think about it, the more distracted you are.

9.   Begging for the job
Certain interviewers have a habit of grilling candidates, as if they are their personal barbecue meat. Well the truth is that they are their personal meat. By asking difficult questions and putting forth difficult situations in front of you, they want to check your attitude towards your work. For example, if the interviewer asks you why they should hire you, don’t say that you are good at everything or can adapt to any kind of situation. Firstly, that’s not possible for anybody, secondly it sounds vague and absurd and thirdly, this is when the interviewer will start grilling you about each point you just blurted out. Instead, you can list your skills that are relevant to this job and add that there would be things that you may not know but will grasp the new skills quickly.

10.   Being unprofessional in the premises.
Even if you have given the interview and are waiting for say, results, do not wander out in the premises or fiddle with things. Do the necessary bit and mind your own business. You never know who may be watching you. Sometimes, there are specific people allocated to observe your behavior and manners.

I have worked hard so that I don’t make these common mistakes during my interviews. These interview mistakes will help you know what you are possibly doing wrong in spite of giving the best of your efforts.
Share your interview experiences or any queries about them.

Read More :
Do's and Don'ts of Successful Interviewing
Clarity of Thought
Two Ways of Dealing with Tough Situations

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