First Impressions: 5 Common Job Interview Mistakes

First impressions play a huge role in a job interview setting and the way that you come across to your interviewer within the first few moments of the interview can be a crucial factor in whether or not you get the job. 

There are many articles describing the basics that you should remember when going to a job interview: come prepared, have interview questions ready, dress appropriately, etc. but there are also very small mistakes that many people make during their interview that can have an equally big effect on the outcome.

Below we have outlined five common job interview mistakes that many people fall victim to; don’t let it be you! Avoid making these mistakes and you will be well on your way to acing your next interview!


5 Common Job Interview Mistakes

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.Yes, you want your breath to be fresh for your interview, we understand, but chomping down on a piece of gum while trying to have a professional conversation about your future is not how your interview should go.

If you are chewing gum than that means you can’t articulate your information as nicely 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 and yet it does; so throw it out before you arrive to your job interview.

2. Don’t answer your phone
Once you are in the interview your attention should not be anywhere except on the 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 your family/friends 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 of the employees of this company who see you when you are inside the company 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, information about the company, or observe the atmosphere/people 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 employer 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 maintaining professionalism at all times.

As stated above, this includes your time in the reception/waiting area as well since the receptionist and/or other employees you interact with will all have an opinion of you based on the brief time they see you.

4. Don’t bring an old resume
Make sure that you have an up-to-date resume with you on the day of your interview. You always want the interviewer to have your most recent work history available to them and you want to have the most relevant information on your resume that will help you land the job.

Trying to discuss jobs that are not listed on your resume will not help present yourself as the best candidate for the position because the interviewer does not have access to all of those details. This is especially true when dealing with recruitment/employment 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
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 around for a little while 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 your 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.

First impressions are everything during a job interview. Avoid making these 5 common job interview mistakes and you will be well on your way to your next great job opportunity!