Can you think about some of the worst interview mistakes that you’ve made? When preparing for your job interview, knowing what not to do is just as important as having a nice resume and strong reference.

Interview is a form of interpersonal interaction which can be subjective. But we have identified some common interview mistakes that most interviewers think you should avoid.

Some of these interview mistakes are made by more then 73% of our candidates.

Come and take some time to read through this important list. Be prepared for your interview, so you don’t have to stress out about any blunders that other candidates made.

Let’s Dive In!

10 Worst Interview Mistakes

No.1 Forgot to Research

Doing good research of the company you are applying for seems like the basic of for every job seeker. But in reality many job seeker don’t do enough research about the company or the position itself.

“We usually ask our candidates, ‘what do you know about the company’ in the first few minutes of our interview. And almost 2 out of 10 of our candidates will just look at us blankly. This definitely does not give us a good impression.”

A candidate who is interviewing for a job in a company and not knowing what the company does, definitely do not give a good impression. And during an interview, the impression you give to the interviewer determines your success.


Success in an interview depends on your ability to understand the company and its needs, and how effectively you are able to present your strength and skills into an asset that the company wants.

No.2 Arriving Late or Too Early

Arriving at the interview late is a definite, ‘no’ ‘no’. This should be quite self-explanatory as no one will like to be sitting there waiting. For any reasons that you are late, you will not be excused. This may sound harsh, but being late for anything for any reasons, does not really make a good impression.

According to a survey done by HQHire in Year 2019 by 153 individuals interviewers,

“82.3% of the interviewers will choose to reject a candidate if they are late for the interview.”


That is a lot of rejections!

Therefore, if you are afraid that traffic might be a problem, probably you may want to have a buffer time to deal with any unexpected issue that may cause you to be late.

Too early for the interview might not be ideal either. While it is an good idea to be 15 to 30 minutes early. If you arrive at the venue 1 to 2 hours before the interview time, it might makes you look as if you have nothing to do or is desperate. This goes to our next point.

Infographic on why interviewer's first reason they reject a candidate before the interview


Enthusiasm and desperate are two different things. Being enthusiastic is good and interviewers love it, but being desperate pushes the interviewer away. Sometimes you may want that role or that company a lot. That might makes you want that job so badly which makes it hard for you to keep calm and maintain composure during the interview.

But being too eager to a point of looking desperate will simply lower your chances. Most people like to work with others, who are easy-going and down-to-earth, not people who are pushy and inconsiderate.

In other words, just relax and keep yourself calm from all the excitement.

  • Focus on how you can contribute your skills and experience in the position.
  • Focus on what the company wants for the person in this role.
  • Focus on being positive and listen.

Be enthusiastic is good, but too much will have the opposite effect. Balance is the Key.

No.4 Dress for the wrong occasion


Within the first 5 to 15 minutes your interviewer will know if you are the right person to hire. There are a few things that make up your first impression, and one of the most obvious is basically what you wear.

We know that is wrong to judge a book by its cover, but psychology studies shows that,

“we form an perception of a person in the first 3 to 5 minutes of our interaction.”

And visual plays a big part in it.

This means that you have a very short window of time for you to make a good impression to impress your interviewers.

If you are not dress appropriately, professionally and well-groomed. Your chances with the interview will be over before you even started.

No.5 Oversharing

We know you have work hard for the interview and will like to build a good rapport with the interviewers. But oversharing of information can actually be bad for you.

During the interview, you want to be professional at all times. That includes not oversharing of your personal life, like how many dogs you have at home, or your kids just got an ‘A’ for their test. Well, unless it is related to the job you are applying, do not overshare your personal life.

It is OK to have small talk when applicable, but avoid crossing the line and talk about personal challenges you have face with your family and friends.

In an interview, ‘Stay professional’.

No.6 Badmouth Your Previous Employer

You may not like your previous employer or your previous colleagues, but an interview is never the time for you to badmouth any of them. Everyone including the interviewers know that you are not going to like everyone you meet. But by badmouthing anyone in front of a stranger, such as the interviewer says a lot about you.

It will give them the impression that you are:

  1. Hard to get-along
  2. Unprofessional
  3. Hold grudges

None of these attributes are things that the interviewer wants in a candidate.

We know it can be tempting, but keep control of your emotion is important. Know what to say and what not to say in an interview determine your chances.

No.7 Not SILENCING your phone

Ever remember the meeting where you are presenting and someone’s phone rang? Is it distracting?

Remember to silent your phone, or better, switch off your phone before the interview. If your phone rings or beep during the interview, it can be very distracting to the interviewer and give a signal that you are very inconsiderate.

“There is one incident where a candidate was texting halfway throughout the interview. I just end the interview at the moment, as I don’t want to waste my time on someone who is inconsiderate.”

No.8 Reciting

Be prepared for answering some of the most commonly asked questions is great (eg. “tell me about yourself.” or “why did you leave your last job?“). But if you sounds like reciting from a script, then this won’t make a very good impression.

  • Firstly, reciting from a script doesn’t makes you sound authentic. 
  • Secondly, reciting have a probability of you forgetting the words you use when you are nervous.
  • Lastly, it is tough for you to remember and for the interviewer to hear.

Words without emotions just make it sounds fake.

Instead of remembering the answers line by line. You can do the following:

  • Focus on the overall concept
  • Create talking point on how to answer the questions
  • Be yourself and use the language you use when answering questions

Most importantly, Be Authentic.

No.9 Asking INAPPROPRIATE Questions

At the end of each interview, your interviewer will usually give you a chance to ask them some question. They will conclude with “Do you have any questions for me?”

Take advantage of the opportunity to ask them some thoughtful questions. But limit yourself to a maximum of three questions. Make sure the questions you ask stay relevant to the position and the company. Do not ask questions which are too personal such as, “Are you single” or “Do you have kids”.

You can ask questions such as, “What is a typical day of work like for the person in this position?”

If you are unsure of what questions to ask, you can check out this post “Best question to ask your interviewers”

Asking the right questions at the right time can sometimes help in getting the job by giving a good lasting impression to the interviewers.

No.10 Not preparing your referral

Not preparing your referral is one of the most seen mistakes for many of the candidates. Most company requires the candidate to provide at least 2 referrals. But some of the times, the referrals don’t know they are asked to be a referral for the candidate. This gives a very bad impression for the interviewer.

It is only basic courtesy that that candidate ask the referrer permission to help them in the job hunt, before putting their names and contacts into the application form.

Always prepare your referral, give them information on:

  • Permission to be use as referral
  • Best time to give them the call
  • Type of job are you applying
  • Around when you going for interview

This will let them have an idea on when will they be called in order to help you as a referral.

Final Thoughts

Interview well with the guidance of all the tips is critical for getting the job. Get yourself prepared and practice are important. Learning about the interview tips and interview questions will probably the best way to increase your chances of success.

Building a career is not easy. But with some of the best career tips you can use today, you can rest assure that you will be successful sooner than you think.

Let us guide you to walk this journey together with our next articles!

Infographic on the 7 worst interview mistakes that candidates makes during their job interview


Seven Deadly Sin For Interview

Interview Tips

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