Top 10 Interview Mistakes to Avoid

Nicole Smart writes for Forbes about how to overcoming hiring struggles

Be sure to avoid these top job interview mistakes!

Every season is job search season! Actually, according to Monster, peak job search season across multiple sectors is in January at the beginning of the first quarter and often when new budgets and initiatives kick-off.  Another peak time is early Fall before the holidays come into play. But, let’s be honest, there is always SOMEONE is hiring all year round!

There’s a lot of advice out there for interview top tips, but what about interview mistakes to avoid? Here are the top 10 interview mistakes to avoid at all costs!


You’ll also like: Top 10 Interview Questions and How to Answer them

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1. Not doing your research on the company

It’s an awkward moment when a hiring manager asks you a general question about what you think of the job or the company and you have absolutely nothing to say in response. Don’t forget that interviewers want to know that you proactively did your homework and have an interest in the company.

We suggest learning a few key facts about the company, leadership, recent awards, some of the clients the company works with, the industry they work in. Also, here are 3 tricky interview questions and how to answer them

2. Not doing your research on the person interviewing you

Always research the person you know will interview you. Know what school they went to, their previous jobs, what groups they’re part of on LinkedIn, if they’ve written a book or have hobbies!

If they’ve written a book, mention it and inject a take-away from the book in the interview.

This person may be your manager, mentor, colleague, or friend if you’re hired! Find something in common with your int

erviewer including shared hometown, university, a common interest in a certain non-profit organization – find a connection.

The interviewer that feels like you took the extra step to get to know them may just end up advocating for you when it comes down to deciding which applicant gets to join the team. Plus, having something in common leads to more natural conversation and can help everyone feel more comfortable right away. Get nervous during interviews? Here’s how to cure your interview anxiety.


3. Not practicing your interview skills 


We know practicing your interview skills beforehand may seem a little corny, but it’s extremely helpful to nail down your story, identify key career experiences you’d like to discuss, and share your motivation to look for a new job. Don’t be afraid to get in front of a mirror and practice your pitch.

Pro-Tip: Video record your answer to these top interview questions and watch it back to see where you can improve and be more powerful in your interviewing. One common way is to speak slower and remove “Ums”.

Link up with a friend or family member and role play an interview scenario with them. This way, you’ll be able to hone in on the key topics that you’d like to get across during an interview and also get constructive feedback on your performance.


4. Not speaking with confidence

You’ve accomplished a lot (even if you don’t think so!)! Show your confidence by speaking with certainty, answering interview questions confidently and succinctly, and by giving straightforward and informational answers to interview questions.

Even if you have the credentials to back it up, an interviewer won’t believe that you’re the right fit for the job unless you ACT like the right fit for the job. 

Here’s how to close your next interview with confidence.


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5. Not reaching out to your network

Leverage your network to connect with people you know and their network about job vacancies. Even if you asked someone about a job a few months back, it’s likely that they will remember you when a new spot within their department opens up. No one will advocate for you unless you ask, so don’t be afraid to ask old colleagues, peers, friends, anyone who can help you get a leg up in getting noticed by a company. Be your own best advocate!


6. Forgetting to follow up with the team

How will a company that’s considering your application know that you’re actually interested in the job? Follow up after your interviews!
Especially if you’re in final round interviews, make sure to thank the interviewers for their time and consideration. Don’t forget to also use the opportunity to express continued interest in the role and perhaps some skillsets you believe will be assets to the company.

Have you been ghosted after an interview? Here’s how to solve it!

7. Speaking badly about your previous job

Some interviewers will inquire as to why you’re looking for a new role. Always be tactful and respectful when this question comes up. Even if you had a negative experience at your previous job, you never want to bad-mouth your old employer. It won’t be perceived tastefully and the interviewer wants to assess if you will be a positive and loyal employee. Negative comments about your old job won’t help anyone.

Instead, you can position this question to share what you would love to experience at your new job, like teamwork, a supportive manager, and a transparent culture.


8. Not acting professionally during your interview

While we suggest trying to relax and be yourself during your interview, don’t get too comfortable! It’s a huge red flag to hiring managers when interviewees make uncomfortable jokes, act like they already have the job, or make arrogant statements. Hiring managers want someone who puts in the right effort and shows they truly want the job.


Show your personality, but keep topics about your performance and your impact.


9. Forgetting to dress interview-appropriate

Even if your interview is over a video call, always make sure to dress appropriately. Consider wearing business casual attire and making sure the interviewer can see your face while you speak to them. Don’t forget to host your interview from a clean, quiet space with no distractions!


10. Not asking about next steps

Before ending your interview, always ask: “What are the next steps in the interview process?” You can also ask: “What does the interview process look like?” Asking this will show that you’re interested in continuing the process and that you’re forward-thinking.
Now that you have all the tools, go forth and get that next job! Need some more support? Feel free to reach out to our hiring and recruiting heroes here at Star Staffing.

More Job Seeker Resources:

  1. Free Career Advice and Worksheets
  2. Search Open Jobs in Northern California
  3. Blogs for Job Seekers




With over 20 years in the staffing industry, Star Staffing has thrived as a top temporary staffing agency recognized multiple years by Forbes for our excellent service. Star Staffing supports multiple industries including food and wine, events and hospitality, warehouse and distribution, and more. As the economy heals, we look forward to maintaining our promise: We are here when you need us.

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