This blog continues our series of interview mistakes. If you didn’t catch our last blog on interview mistakes in tone, demeanor and appearance, check it out. This article focuses on the interview mistakes people make when preparing or not preparing properly for their interview.

1)Not doing your research on the company.

Every company wants to assess your fit for the organization. They want to know that you really are interested in them. If they ask about your interest in the organization in your interview and you don’t have an intelligent answer, you’re going to appear less than serious.

2) Not asking thoughtful questions at the end of the interview.

At the end of the interview you have the opportunity to shine. Show that you did your research on the company and took the time to think of some thoughtful questions. This is a good way to show your interest, conscientiousness and proactive style.

3) Giving the wrong answers.

Yes, there are wrong answers to interview questions. You need to know how to answer the basic questions appropriately as well as have some specific examples from your past that relate to the competencies for the position. In this case, your job description is your best friend and should be studied to brainstorm the types of questions you will be asked.

4) Coming ill-prepared.

Show up for your interview with copies of your resume, pen and paper. Have these items in a nice folder or bag. Believe it or not, this small action communicates your organizational skills. How you come prepared for the interview communicates how prepared you’ll show up on the job.

5) Not knowing your strengths.

You need to be able to speak comfortably about your strengths and talents and how they can serve the position you are applying for. Rehearse your responses to “What are your greatest strengths?” and “Why are you the best candidate for this position”. Again, be familiar with the knowledge, skills and abilities they are looking for and how your background, talents and experience speak directly to their requirements.

6) Arriving late.

Almost inexcusable. Don’t plan to arrive on time, plan to arrive 30 minutes early, wait in your car and then show up 5-10 minutes early for the interview. This is easily one of the biggest interview mistakes you can make and it is pretty much totally avoidable. I recommend to clients if they don’t know where they are going, drive to the interview location prior to the day of the interview. If anything, it will lower your stress level.

7) Giving canned responses to difficult questions.

For example, “What is your worst quality?” and you say “I’m a perfectionist”. Look to say something honest but also point out the strengths you have as part of your response and how you’ve grown. Be honest but show your character and maturity.

8) Only talking about one project in your experiences.

Even if one project has dominated your career, you need to show breadth of experience. Take the time to recount the vast projects and tasks you’ve completed. Make a list of the top 10 projects you have worked on, what actions you took and how they turned out. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with how to answer behavioral questions in a STAR format, be sure to do your research.

At Careerfulness, we are experts in the field of interview preparation. If you are getting interviews but not landing them, contact us today for a free consultation!