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10 most common interview mistakes


As unsurprisingly difficult as it is to compile an objective list of the most frequent interview mistakes, The Telegraph has had a go through use of the global question and answer website Quora. The following have been sourced from employers in not only the UK, but also various other parts of the world.

Showing off

As in other areas of life, bragging rarely goes down well at a job interview. One Quora poster, Yishan Wong, has described it as risky, adding that if it doesn’t work, “expect no sympathy”.

Not researching the company beforehand

With the Internet providing such a rich source of information at your fingertips, it is unlikely that you would be excused for knowing little about the company that is interviewing you.

Being misleading about your knowledge

If the interviewer asks you a question that you honestly don’t know the answer to, just say so. Don’t try to guess or give information that you know doesn’t actually answer the question.

Being impolite

This includes swearing and not directing an answer to the person who asked the question. Making jokes also tends to be considered overly risky.

Not asking any questions

As a bare minimum, ask what you will be doing in the job and who with. These would be good questions, as job listings can be too vague about what the daily working experience will be like.

Unnecessary apologising

Certain errors warrant apologies, but not knowing how to answer an interview question or disagreeing with the interviewer aren’t among them. Only say sorry for errors in basic etiquette.

Bad handshaking

Good handshaking is easy to learn and gives the impression that you put thought into your self-presentation.

Not explaining what you can do for the company

There are obviously certain opportunities that you would love from the company… but how can you help them, too? Acting like the two of you will have a one-way relationship could be offputting.

Complaining about your current employer

None of the companies that you can contact through our sales recruitment agency would enjoy feelng like you are pursuing work with them simply because it’s better than what your current company offers.

Answering questions with just ‘yes’ or ‘no’

Expanding on answers shows that you thoroughly understand the question. However, make sure that whatever extra you say is actually relevant to the question, as waffling is not pleasing to many employers.

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