5 Common Interview Mistakes

There are thousands of articles detailing what you should and should not do in a job interview. Most of these articles have the same pieces of advice in them: come prepared, have interview questions ready, dress appropriately, etc. But there are few articles that talk about small things you may do in an interview setting that on the surface may not seem rude to some people but that can come across as disrespectful to your interviewer and can affect you getting a job.

We’ve put together a list of 5 simple interview mistakes you can make that you should avoid at all costs.

1. Don’t chew gum

This is one that many people do not see a problem with but can come across as very unprofessional and rude.You want your breath to be fresh for your interview, we understand. But chomping down on gum while trying to have a professional conversation about your future is not how your interview should go. Chewing gum means you can’t articulate as well and it can make it seem like you don’t care about your interview. A piece of gum should not have this much control and speak this loudly yet it does, so throw it out before you arrive to your interview.

2. Don’t answer your phone

Once you’re in the interview your attention should not be anywhere except on that conversation with your interviewer. Your phone shouldn’t be on and if it is on it should be turned to silent during your job interview. Answering your phone should never happen. Let people know that you’re in an interview at a certain time and when you will be available to answer your phone later in the day if you are worried they will try to contact you during that time. These days we are tied to our phones for the majority of the day but try to avoid being on your phone when in the reception area as well. You are not just making an impression on your interviewer but on all employees of this company who see you when you’re in the building. Being on your phone while waiting for your interview can come across as rude as well. Use that time to go over your interview questions and information about the company instead.

3. Don’t talk to your interviewer like you would your friends

Always keep a professional demeanor with the person who is interviewing you. This is something of a concern in particular when people are interviewing with recruiters. Sometimes people will view the recruiter as the middleman between them and the employers so they will take a more casual attitude with the recruiter. You must always be completely professional with the person interviewing you, no matter who they are. This means no casual talk or slang (especially no swearing!!), saying your “please and thank yous” and keeping yourself professional at all times. As stated above, this includes your time in reception as the receptionist and other employees you interact with will all have an opinion of you based on the brief time they may see you.

4. Don’t bring an old resume

Make sure you have an up-to-date resume with you on the day of your interview. You always want the interviewer to have the most recent information available to them and you want to have the most relevant information that will help you land the job. Trying to discuss very old work histories or discussing jobs not listed on your resume will not help present yourself as the best candidate for the position. This is especially true when dealing with recruiting agencies because they will most likely have to send your resume to their client. You want to have all relevant information on your resume to ensure your best chances for securing the job.

5. Don’t show up late

This tip does show up on quite a few lists but that’s because it is VERY important. Do everything in your power not to show up late, even if that means leaving an hour earlier than you think it’s going to take you to get to your interview to make sure you get there on time. Worst case scenario you have to wait before going into the building for the interview. If you are going to be late and it is completely unavoidable make sure to place a courtesy phone call to you interviewer letting them know that you’re going to be late. Your interviewer’s time is just as valuable as yours so it’s respectful to treat it as such. Some situations just can’t be avoided but give yourself plenty of extra time the day of the interview to ensure anything that can be avoided is.