Updated: Aug 6, 2019
We’ve all experienced it: that cringe-worthy interview that made you want to go home, put on your coziest sweatpants, and watch Netflix until the wee hours of the morning. Whether it was yesterday afternoon or five years ago, challenging interviews can make you feel unqualified to—or even unworthy of— finding your dream job.
But remember, these interview experiences are rare, and can only make you stronger the next time around. If you’re looking to level-up your skills and leave your next interview feeling confident, informed, and in control, cultivate an open mind and make sure to avoid making these surprisingly common interview mistakes.
Interview Mistake #1: Showing Up Unprepared
This mistake tops the list of interview no-no’s. Preparing for an interview not only helps you demonstrate your research skills and initiative, but the act of preparation can also ease your own state of mind before, during, and after an interview.
Before you head in for your interview, make sure to review some common interview questions, browse the company’s website to learn about their values and services or products, and be ready to discuss your experiences, skills, and passions at length.
Interview Mistake #2: Stressing Over the Details
According to the American Institute of Stress, job pressure is the number one cause of stress in America, with 48% of survey respondents sharing stress “has a negative impact on their personal and professional life.”
Whether you start to feel stressed days before your interview or as you’re sit down in the waiting room, consider employing some meditative techniques, as meditation has been proven to help improve mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Interview Mistake #3: Letting the Conversation Become Unbalanced
A balanced conversation is one in which all parties feel like they are actively participating, and these types of discussions are invaluable during a professional interview. Of course, the expectation as an interviewee is that you’ll be asked a series of questions. However, as we stated above, arriving prepared with your own thoughts (and maybe even a set of questions) can help balance the conversation and provide both you and your interviewer with information to help qualify your fit for the position.
Interview Mistake #4: Forgetting to Send a Thank You Note
Once your interview is over, you’ll have the chance to take a deep breath, relax, and hopefully, feel relieved that you positioned yourself as a standout candidate. But if you want to take your candidacy to the next level, send an artfully crafted thank you note to your interviewer. A follow-up thank you email or note doesn’t take much effort, but allows you to further connect with the interviewer and solidify your place in their final decision-making process.
In this customized email, try to include:
A friendly thank you for their time
Your own voice and personality
Follow-up information relevant to your discussion
A brief review of how you could bring value to the position
Although this email will be short and sweet, it can go a long way in demonstrating both your drive and confidence.
During an interview, remember to keep a positive tone, and—this is a must—to be your authentic self. By avoiding these interview mistakes and prepping yourself with the techniques to succeed even with the toughest interview questions, you’ll look forward to any professional discussion.
Are you looking for a little extra help with your interviewing process and techniques? nexplay’s team of insiders are available to guide you through your job search challenge with expert advice geared to help you get your foot in the door. Take advantage of our free advice today or get in touch!