Avoid these interview mistakes:
• Glance at watch
• Chum up with friend on interview staff
• Only look at one person when answering
• Hold pencil or pen and play with it during interview
• Chew gum
• Lounge, slump, or recline in chair
• When brought into interview room (area), interviewee just grabs a chair without being
told where to sit
• Elaborates on one answer too long
• Starts questioning interviewer with questions like the following:
-"Well, what would you do?"
-"What are your thoughts on this subject?"
-"Tell me what is your biggest weakness?"
• Gets overly excited about an answer (ex. A football player talking about a game.)
• Say phrases like (you know, yah, honestly, okay, sure, man, etc.) Not that being personal is bad, but overusing these phrases takes away from the quality of you and your answers.
• Set like a statue with a moving mouth and blinking eyes only
• Many exaggerated movements with hands, arms, back (leaning), and legs (crossing and
• Repetitive finger movements like twiddling thumbs, cracking knuckles, or taping fingers.
• Use large words that you really don't know what they mean (proverbial, paradigm, diabolical, etc.) If you really know what they mean and they are appropriate, then use them.
• Blame someone else for a problem you had. Make excuses for your actions.
• Be overly arrogant. Just brag on yourself beyond what is appropriate.
• Correct the interviewer's grammar or pronunciation of a word.
• Interrupt the interviewer's question with something you want to say.
• Answer a different question than was asked.
• Answer a question by talking negatively about yourself
• Answer every question in very general terms. Never be specific about any experience or quality you have.
• Get noticeably frustrated with the interviewer when he/she asks very specific questions about an uncomfortable topic for you.
• Answer questions about a team by taking all the credit and giving no credit to the team.
• Have the interviewee's cell phone, pager, or watch alarm sound.
• Assuming this is a job interview, ask, "How much vacation do I get?"
Here are a few interview elements that are acceptable, but students may perceive them as bad.
• The interviewee pausing a few seconds before answering a really difficult question.
• The interviewee getting choked, coughing several times, and asking for a drink of water
or a very quick break for a drink.