interview common mistake to avoid

It’s not uncommon to see candidates making mistakes – without even realizing it during an interview session.

Many of these mistakes are common and I’ve seen candidates falling in at one point or the other during their interviews.

And so, today I want to share 7 top mistakes candidates commonly make while preparing for Interviews – and during interviews.

1. Not Enough Research

It’s normal to get anxious at first in an interview but you can easily restore your confidence with enough research prior to the date. Before the interview, get your research done properly. Find out more about the person that’ll be interviewing you – look them up on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Do some background check on the company culture and memorize key facts, try to understand the industry’s market and their wider online presence – beyond their own website.

Then research the role and the responsibility that comes with it. Not enough research can make you uncontrollably anxious and could signal a negative sign to your employers.

2. Talking Too Much Or Too Little

Your answers should be specific, concise and direct. Mistakes candidates make is giving an indirect answer to a direct question. And even when you’re asked an open question, you should present your answers with a clear beginning, be concise at the middle and conclude without mixing words.

Too lengthy and you’re off point, too short and it appears you’ve little to say. So, always give structure to your answers.

3. Not Paying Attention

Arriving late at an interview venue can contribute to loss of focus. And if you can’t even concentrate in a few minutes interview, your potential employer would wonder how you’ll focus on the job daily.

So, don’t let yourself zone out during an interview. Get there early, relax, be alerted and prepared. It’s not uncommon to see people’s attention slipping away during an interview. But by leaning forward, maintaining eye contact and actively listening to questions will make you stay engaged

While attention might not be an issue in a private (one-on-one) office, it’s often difficult to focus and stay in tune at public places.

4. Not Asking Questions

Employers are always looking forward to an interactive interview session with candidates. They want to learn from you. And they want you to ask them questions.

Your interest in the position you’re applying for will show through questions that you ask your potential employers. And this will demonstrate your enthusiasm and readiness to work with the organization.

But, be careful with the type of questions you ask. As much as they want you to ask them questions, they expect you to have done some research.

And so, asking questions about things they expect you to know could signal lack of research. For instance, you could show them that you can’t wait to have the feels of working with the organization by asking…

“what they like about the company that makes them working there”.

And you could even go as far asking for feedbacks…

This way you get an honest review of your performances. And even if you don’t get the job, you know you are leaving with something to improve on.

5. Inability To Be Specific About Experience

Another mistake candidates make during interviews is the inability to be specific about their experiences, skills and previous responsibilities.

Like I said earlier, a direct question deserves a direct answer. Oftentimes, an entry-level candidate up-sells himself in an attempt to secure the job and it usually ends badly.

Being honest and realistic can get you closer to the job.

When asked a question you’ve no idea about, it’s better to say… “I don’t know” than to waffle around the question.

And if you’ve got little to no experience let them know – every professional started as an amateur.

6. Denigrating Your Past Employers

Whether previous employers or co-workers, avoid denigrating anyone. Be polite and respectful. You never can tell, your conduct during the interview might just be what your potential employer is looking for – and not the skills or high school grades.

And most importantly, whatever you say about your past boss or co-workers will get your potential employer thinking…

You might say that to them as well – if you leave on personal terms not best for you.

Your ability to handle conflicts in a mature way is a skill on its own.

7. Inappropriate Interview Dresses

Depending on the job sector you’re called in, a general rule of thumb is a formal dress code. And you know first impressions matter a lot to landing that job. It demonstrates how serious you are taking the opportunity.

Remember what you have in the CV are not just texts, but your personality.

And you’re coming to represent the image of the company to their customers or clients. And you’ll need to adjust yourself to fit into the professional environment and be ready to sacrifice youthful fashion.

Wrapping it up…

Resist any angst in the interview room, dress formally and be polite. Pay attention to the interviewers and give clear and concise answers to their questions. Be specific and value their times – they too have things in their to-do list.

I believe keeping these 7 most common job interview mistakes handy will help you comfortably ace through your next interviews.

Need help with a good career plan?

At Careers Nigeria, your opportunities are limitless…choose your path and we’ll make deliberate choices strong enough to drive your career to success.


  1. 27/11/2020
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    | Reply
    Kwesi toritseju allotey

    Good morning sir
    I am interested in Marine job your
    Point are very clear
    I appreciate

  2. 27/11/2020
    | | Reply
    | Reply
    Oladoyin Falana

    Glad you find it useful!
    You can check this article on NIMASA

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