Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / JAN. 20, 2015
version 4, draft 4

Common Interview Bloopers and How to Avoid Them

An interview is your opportunity to make a good first impression on a potential employer, and because of this pressure, you might find yourself making certain mistakes that jeopardize your chances of getting a job. While it is natural to be nervous when going for a job interview, it is important to demonstrate the ability to present yourself properly by avoiding the following common bloopers:

Failing to Keep Time

One of the first lessons in job-search etiquette is timeliness. An interview is an important appointment, and failing to keep it shows a lack of respect to both the interviewer and the position you’ve applied for. Avoid making such a poor impression by arriving at least ten minutes before the interview is slotted to begin. It shows that you have a good sense of time management. Arriving too early might create a negative picture that you have too much time on your hands, or that you are desperate for the job.

Lack of Preparation

The information in your résumé is only a small part of what you need to know in order to adequately prepare for the interview. Potential employers are interested in knowing whether you are genuinely interested in the organization. Do not merely show interest in the job. Before the interview, conduct some research on the company or organization. As you respond to the interviewer’s questions, show that you have a good depth and understanding of your professional qualifications, and discuss how you hope to contribute them to the organization.

Talking Too Much or Too Little

An interview is an opportunity to let the hiring company know about you. However, when talking about yourself, do not divulge too much because it conveys excessive nervousness and your inability to get to the point. Similarly, avoid mumbling, taking too long to respond or saying too little as this creates the impression that you’re uninformed. Answer questions candidly and directly.

Negatively Portraying a Past or Current Employer

At some point, the interviewer may be interested in obtaining details about your employment history. No matter how reasonable your complaints are about a current or previous place of employment, you should avoid talking negatively about it, because it shows a lack of tact and professionalism. When faced with such a question, it is best to give a positive spin to your response. Show that you have a good sense of judgment and discretion by not getting personal in your explanations.

Failing to Ask Questions

When you don’t ask questions especially at the end of your interview, then you exhibit a lack of interest in the position and organization, which negatively impacts chances of being selected. In order to engage with the interviewer meaningfully, ask questions and seek clarification whenever you don’t understand a question.


Allow the hiring manager to set the tone for the interview and match your communication with theirs. Remember not to diminish your employability by appearing too desperate. No matter how much you need the job, you also need to assert your value to your potential employee by only conveying what is necessary. Polishing your interview skills is what makes the difference between getting the job and merely being a runner-up for the position.

Image Source: First Sun Consultation

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