Interview Gone Wrong

If you want to impress a hiring team, you need to know a few things about job interviews. Of course, you need to have a basic idea of what you SHOULD do, but you should also understand what you SHOULDN’T do since there are a few common mistakes that could sabotage your chances at landing the job. Here are four things you absolutely must avoid during job interviews:

1. Making excuses.

Whether you’re running late for an interview or you’re trying to justify being fired from your last job, making excuses is a big no-no when it comes to job interviews. This is your first impression, and if you’re already showing the hiring team that you don’t take responsibility for your actions, you’re not going to impress them. If you’re running late, apologize and go right into the interview instead of wasting time explaining why you weren’t on time. If you got fired, briefly explain what happened, what you learned, and why it won’t happen again.

2. Being too serious.

While you want to behave in a professional manner during job interviews, you also want to show that you’re friendly, approachable, and can fit in with the group. If you’re too serious, you might come off as unapproachable, hard to work with, or uninterested in the job altogether. So, be sure to smile and share your excitement for the opportunity.

3. Asking questions you could’ve Googled.

During job interviews, there IS such a thing as a stupid question. If you can learn something about a company based on a simple online search, don’t ask about it in the interview. It makes you look unprepared and uninterested in the opportunity because you didn’t do your due diligence. For example, don’t ask this common question, “What does your company do?” That’s an answer you can (and should) easily find online before the interview.

4. Talking about yourself the whole time.

If you’re spending the entire interview talking about yourself, you not only risk sounding arrogant, but you also risk not learning anything new about the company. A job interview is a two-way street. It’s the hiring team’s opportunity to get to know you on a deeper level, but it’s also your opportunity to get to know the company on a deeper level. Don’t waste that opportunity. You could learn something about the company that could make or break your decision to move forward with it.


If you need more help with your interview strategy, book an appointment with Longwood University Career Services and work with a career coach.

About the Author

Ariella Coombs

Over the last 4 years, Ariella has been creating fun, yet educational blog posts and videos to help professionals build the career lifestyle they want. Her work has been featured in 12+ online publications, including TeenVogue, Business Insider, H&R Block, USA TODAY College, and more. One day, she hopes to host my own TV or web show for career-minded millennials.

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