Jobtree Logo small

51 Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Job Interview

51 Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Job Interview
Jobtree logo
by Jobtrees Team

A job interview is one of the most common things we experience. However, there is no handbook for delivering a ‘right’ job interview. No guidelines are available for us to go through before we enter that interview room. This is why it is so common that people make silly and easily avoidable mistakes during job interviews. The funny thing is that most of the time when candidates appear for an interview, they are hardly aware of the mistakes they make during the process.

When surveyed, about 80% of the job seekers mention that they are never even sure whether their job application has been filled out correctly. Mistakes in an interview arise much earlier than the actual interview. The job application process itself is different for many organizations. There is no hard and fast way to appear for a job interview.

In this article, we at Jobtrees have specified some common mistakes candidates make at job interviews. You will learn about things to do in a job interview as well as mistakes to avoid during a job interview. In a nutshell, you can consider this as a guide about job interview basics.

51 Common Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid:

  1. Dress appropriately. Business casual is usually the best bet.
  2. Be aware of your body/breath odor. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of candidates’ appearance.
  3. Men – make sure to shave your beard. Bearded looks are usually considered unprofessional.
  4. Appearing uninterested – take interest in what the interviewer shares with you even if it is remotely related to your prospective role.
  5. Not bringing a notepad/pen. You never know when you might need a pen in your life and a job interview definitely qualifies as one of the places that might.
  6. Considering a telephone interview to be less important than an in-person interview. It is just as important. Don’t take it for granted. Interviewers can read your tone just as much as body language.
  7. Leaving your cell phone on/on ring mode – interruptions are bad for you when they come from your end.
  8. Chewing gum – when waiting for their turn, candidates tend to chew gum thinking that they aren’t getting noticed. You are watched at all times when appearing for a job interview.
  9. Arriving Late – punctuality is a crucial factor during a job interview. This is an extremely common mistake candidates make which can just as easily be avoided.
  10. Bringing a drink with you – we get it! It’s hot/cold outside. A coffee won’t do any harm, right? Wrong!!
  11. Paying attention to your phone while waiting for your interview.
  12. Not knowing about the company enough – doing your homework is expected of you. In fact, the candidates that are actually hired at renowned companies do more than just visit the website. They do more than what is expected of them.
  13. Vague resume facts – your resume is a document of your persona. Prepare it well.
  14. Talking too much – sliding off the subject or talking more than required can be a sign of being under confident. Stick to the point.
  15. Being impatient – the interviewer is allowed as many questions as they want. Answer them all patiently.
  16. Bad mouthing past employers – this is a common mistake during a job interview. Never do this.
  17. No follow up – it’s not a given to follow up with a thank you note to your recruiter but is always appreciated.
  18. Might even prove as the turning point for you.
  19. Bringing another person with you – don’t consider a job interview as just another meeting. It deserves the importance of you making proper time for the interview.
  20. Wearing sunglasses or any unnecessary accessories.
  21. Showing up too early – just as being late is a problem, showing up more than ten minutes early is also not appreciated. Respect the time of the recruiters.
  22. Smoking before the interview – smell of the smoke is not easily washed. Avoid it at all costs.
  23. Being hungover/tired.
  24. Going to the interview even when you’re sick – recruiters are humans too. It’s okay to ask to reschedule if you fall sick.
  25. Not knowing the interviewer’s name.
  26. Taking a personal call during an interview.
  27. Not introducing yourself – don’t wait to do this till they ask you about it.
  28. Leaving a Bluetooth earpiece on.
  29. Wearing too much perfume or cologne.
  30. Not bringing extra copies of your resume – in case you end up being interviewed by a panel, provide them each with a copy. Carry at least five extra copies to a job interview.
  31. Not bringing a list of references.
  32. Not bringing a portfolio of your work – your resume is mandatory however a portfolio is proof of your skills.
  33. Have it handy in case you need to refer to it.
  34. Using fillers while you speak like ‘umm’ or ‘err’ or ‘like’, etc.
  35. Mumbling and using poor grammar – communication skills are a requirement for any job profile.
  36. Cutting off the interviewer before they complete the question.
  37. Not saying enough – give complete answers to the questions asked.
  38. Talking about your weaknesses.
  39. Not smiling enough.
  40. Not making eye contact with all panelists.
  41. Telling jokes or laughing too much.
  42. Not remembering your work history.
  43. Not following directions when asked to give a test. Being insubordinate.
  44. Not knowing the job description – be well informed of the company as well as the job description is important.
  45. If it wasn’t provided to you before the interview, research on the internet.
  46. Showing the interviewer that you’re in it just for the money.
  47. Asking about office timings – these can be touched base upon once you are selected. Discuss them only with the HRs.
  48. Asking about salary and benefits to the wrong person – don’t be afraid to ask about them once you are shortlisted, however do not ask them to anyone other than the HR.
  49. Showing the interviewer that you’re desperate for a job.
  50. Not being humble to the interviewer or the staff at receptions/etc.
  51. Not thanking the interviewer for the opportunity or their time.
  52. Asking silly questions when asked if you have any questions.
  53. Not quoting examples of your work experience or justifying your statements with incidents.
  54. Following up too much with the recruiter to push a result before it’s due.


Try to do better on these easily avoidable job interview mistakes and you can already make a better impression than your competitors. Good luck on your next interview!