Are You Making These Interview Mistakes?

Are You Making These Interview Mistakes?

Interviews can be stressful and it is not uncommon to make mistakes. Here are some of the most common interview mistakes I see:

  • Not begin prepared. You’ve heard it dozens of times; research the organization and its mission and pain points, the position itself, and reach out to connections to see if you can learn any “inside scoop.”
  • Failing to review the job posting and having CCAR (context, challenge, actions, results) stories that demonstrate your successes relevant to the job.
  • Sharing too much personal information about your family, disability, and other things that do not support your candidacy.
  • Trashing your current (or former) boss / organization. If you’re talking negatively about a current or former boss, that begs the question of what you will say about the organization / boss you’re interviewing with.
  • Arriving late. You should show up for your interview (assuming it’s in person) ~10 minutes ahead of time. If your interview is virtual, sign on 5 minutes ahead of time, turn on your camera and microphone, and check your background to ensure it looks professional.
  • Dressing inappropriately. Even if you already work for the organization or you know their dress code is casual, take your attire up a notch to show respect for the process and that you’re serious.
  • Not having questions to ask. You should have 5 questions prepared to ask (some may be covered during the interview and you don’t want to run out). The questions should be focused on the position and demonstrate that you understand the organization have done your research—don’t ask questions about salary, remote work (especially if the job was not advertised as remote), how soon you can get promoted, etc.
  • Neglecting to follow up. This includes a thank you note as well as further follow up if you don’t hear back when anticipated.

All of these mistakes are easily avoidable. Don’t be one of those people who claim they have gotten every job they ever interviewed for. Competition is real and interviewing is a skill; take this opportunity—and your career seriously.

If you're looking for extra job interview help, get our Pre-Interview Worksheet & Checklist or our Federal Interviewing Bundle!

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