Managers Reveal 5 Common Candidate Interview Mistakes

Posted October 21, 2013

ALTScoring an interview certainly warrants a happy dance. It proves you're a competitive candidate and you have a good shot! Now, it’s time to show your future boss that you are just as great of a fit in person as you are on paper.

If you’re about to go on your job interview, make sure you check out the CareerBliss Job Interview Guide. It contains a treasure trove of timeless advice on how to ask fantastic questions, getting over job interview jitters, how to follow up and much more!

To help you get even a bigger leg up on your competition, we asked hiring managers about their worst interview experience with a candidate.

Take a lesson from these top five most common real life job interview mistakes:

1. Showing Up without Doing Sufficient Research

“I have zero idea about what this company does,” one candidate told Jill Jacinto, managing editor at WORKS by Nicole Williams. “I looked it up but got confused.”

Wow, what a perfect way to make your interviewer scream "Next!" in her head, and blow your interview.

“A simple search on LinkedIn can pull up the company profile and help you understand the company much more comprehensively,” she says. “Referencing their former position or alma mater can put you two levels ahead of the next candidate walking through the door.”

Asking questions at the end of the interview is a fantastic time to show you’ve done your research.

2. Speaking Negatively about Your Old Job 

“It surprises me but it happens very frequently,” says Paul Anderson, hiring manager for over 15 years.

“When the interviewee answers with negative comments about their coworkers or company that is a big red flag.” Negativity about your past (even if you’re in the right), is going to melt your present opportunity.

3.  When Asked, ‘Why do You Want to Work Here?’ Saying ‘The Location’

At a previous job, I have had numerous job candidates tell me the reason they want to work at my company is because of the location in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” says Jené Kapela of Jené Kapela Leadership Solutions. “This is not an appropriate first response to the question, Why are you interested in this position and working with this organization?

Make sure you have your priorities straight – a good answer would be something like: the unique company culture, mission or vision.

 4. Neglecting to Follow-Up

The follow-up is often a deciding factor for manager Rania Eldekki at Hudson Horizons. “It’s just common courtesy to follow-up after an interview to thank the hiring manager for their time and express further interest in the position,” Eldekki says.

Especially if it’s down to the wire between two candidates, the one who executes a flawless follow-up wins.

5. Blatantly Lying about Your Skills

Josh Kattenberg, owner of Real Property Management Express, was interviewing a manager who would be required to drive a company vehicle.

They asked basic questions: can you drive legally? Do you have any drug charges or convictions on your record?

He assured them he has a license and no criminal history.

“A couple more questions and he suddenly said, ‘I have something in my car I want to show you. Be right back,’” Kattenberg tells us. “’OK,’ I said, kind of puzzled. Thirty seconds later, my secretary looked out the window and watched him driving quickly away, never to be heard from again!” Awkward.

Avoid all of the above, and you'll be in better shape than many of the candidates these hiring managers have come across!

Bonus Job Interview Advice: Don't Ask How You Did

photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

CareerBliss cares about your career happiness. That's why we offer a variety of great tools and resources to help you make better-informed career decisions. We believe that if you're happier at work, you'll be happier in life! Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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