Most Popular Articles @

Monday, November 24, 2014

5 Biggest Mistakes You'd Avoid during the Interview

There are lots and lots of mistakes you can make during your interview and it is a shame this is not a 10,000-word article because we could come up questioning loads. It is difficult to figure out which of the many mistakes are the worst, but here is a crude attempt at ranking the top five. These are the five biggest mistakes since Spiderman climbed into the bathtub and could get out.

1 - Being Nervous!

YES, the number one reason why you didn’t get that job was because you were nervous. All but the most stupid mistakes are made because of how nervous you were. The most insurmountable problem you have (your nerves) are also the reason you are not getting the jobs you want.

A quick tip to help you overcome nerves

Of all the many errors a person can make in an interview, this has to rank at the top because it is responsible for so many other mistakes. There are people out there that can talk their way out of a job because they are nervous, and there are many people that just plain act weird when they are nervous. They can talk to their family like a human, and then make silly small talk about the interviewer’s glasses when in the interview.

Your best quick-fix is to convince yourself that the interviewers are your friends. Really use your imagination and pretend that you are waiting for your part in a play. Pretend that when you enter the interview you are entering the rehearsal for your play. Pretend that the people are your friends and that they have just invited you for a quick chat.

A long-term plan for overcoming nerves

The long-term plan is to go on so many interviews that you become an expert at interviews. Just make sure that you learn from every single encounter you have. Learn from the things you hear and see in the waiting room from the other applicants and learn from every interview so that you become the top of your game.

2 - Talking too much, over-talking, over-answering and/or babbling

These are all birds of the same cage. You do it because you are nervous, but even if you cannot kill your nerves, you can kill your habit. You can force yourself to shut up. Once you have answered the question you simply shut up and allow an awkward silence to happen. A good interviewer will notice that you have answered the question and follow with another. If he or she does not then he or she is a crappy interviewer and they are the ones at fault (not you).

3 - Do not rehearse speeches for interviews (ever!)

It seems like such a good idea to rehearse a speech such as, “In my last job I went three years without a single sick day and I won employee of the year 12 times.” But, when you say it in your interview it will sound like, “In my last job I was employee of the year for 12 times and never missed a sick day.”

Worse still, when you rehearse a speech you say it differently. Your speech may sound confident and great but then you revert back to scaredy-cat you when you are speaking normally and it makes you sound a little off-the-wall.

4 - Being repetitive - repetitively repetitive

This is something else that happens because of nerves and you need to put a stop to it. Just telling yourself to shut up after you answer may not work as well for this problem as it does for the problem in point number two on this article (from earlier). Oddly enough, this problem can disappear if you speak a little more slowly. Why it works is unclear, but you will find yourself repeating yourself less. That hard part is keeping your speech slow. You will often find it difficult to stop yourself from speeding up your speech again. Do not go too slow, just enough so that you stop repeating yourself and you will be fine. Remember that this is a problem caused by nerves, so keep working on making yourself less nervous.

5 - Do not make small-talk or be all business

This is one of two extremes, and ideally you need to avoid both extremes. People that are trying to be too friendly will often make small talk and it is very unlikely that the small talk will be charming. It may be out of place and may be unwelcome. On the other hand, do not be “all business.” The interviewers will want to see that you are friendly and affable, but also that you are mature, professional and hard working. Being all business may make them feel as if you are a bit of a robot.

About the author:

Cindy Bates is the freelance writer at She also works with students to improve their writing skills. Her main focus is covering a variety of topics in the field of education.