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Readers Respond: Worst Interview Mistakes

Responses: 89

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What's the worst mistake you can make in a job interview? Here's how to avoid the most common interview mistakes and here are the worst interview answers you can give during a job interview.

Also, read about the top interview mistakes shared by About.com site visitors and add your top interview mistakes to the list. Add an Interview Mistake

Asked about Previous Employer

I once had a interview 3 months after I had started a new position. It was with a better company. Being honest, I told them i had started the other position three months ago. The interviewer wasn't happy. Don't be so honest.
—Guest Stupid

Talking Too Fast

I had an interview and was fine they started asking me questions and I was so prepared that I started talking extra fast without realising the interviewer had to tell me to stop twice because I was talking too fast. Needless to say, I didn't get the job
—Guest Sonia

Interview Anxiety

I went in for an interview guess my nervousness showed through more than I thought. My voice got so high pitched. When I actually caught on to my tone I could feel hands slightly shaking as well. As I'm speaking the boss interrupts and looks at me like a fool and asks why I'm so nervous? It was just an interview. He said I should recollect and start over. Talk about being too mortified to speak any further. Wish I could've disappeared. Felt my face turning so red and I lost eye contact.. Didn't think he went about it the proper way to begin with.
—Guest Smh

Caught Off Guard

I had an interview once with a dream job in Japan. 30 minutes away from my house... really close for an International English School. I arrived at the interview way too early because I was afraid I would be late (not knowing the area). I stood outside in the heat for 30 minutes as moms dropped off their kids looking at me. Finally 15 minutes to my interview I went to the desk. I was greeted by the boss who asked me to follow her into her office. She asked me a series of questions. The thing that got me was "What have you been doing for all this time" I mentioned I had an unofficial job..when I told her when I started I completely screwed it up. I told her I started why I was still working at the other job listed on my resume... I was completely caught off guard and thought I had to answer quickly so I guessed it. She took one look at my resume and her face showed she thought I was lying. Big no no.
—Guest Elijah

Over Prepared

I was invited to interview and told to research a particular product, circumstances etc. When I turned up to interview they did not even touch on this, which threw me off.
—Guest Nicola

What Traits Don't You Like...

I had a very successful first interview and was invited back to a 2nd interview with HR and one of the Directors. It was very soul searching and the Director asked what traits I don't like in people in the workplace. I had just answered what I liked and didn't want to use the opposites, so said that I can't stand if people are considerably late for meetings. The HR manager looked, chuckled and said, oh, so we've failed already... I then realised that the interviewers were 20 minutes late for the interview. Oooops. Really thought I screwed it up. But luckily, both then started laughing and she added, ah, well, she did say she was direct, didn't she? I did get the job but that taught me to think twice before answering!
—Guest UKgirl

My Crazy Answer

I was asked to describe myself in five words and I was so nervous that I said " kookoo" instead of " quirky".
—Guest Jenn

Quiet

Okay so I just went to an interview and all the guy did was tell me what I wrote down. He literally repeated everything I wrote, then there was a huge gap -- a silence ....silence kills an interview. I don't know what I was thinking. And to top it off, they ended "Well we might need you on the weekend if the next interview I have doesn't go better."
—Guest homeless

Too Much Hand Shaking

I had a panel interview, and I shook hands in the beginning and end of the interview; but made the mistake of shaking the hand of the interviewer that escorted me to take a translation test...big mistake, because I felt I did it too much; which made me look desperate for the position. Also, make sure you have a mint before going into meet with your interviewers.
—Guest Gitanaro

Oops.. Forgot Proper Shoes

Very excited. Just went on an amazing first date and had an interview the next day. Stayed up almost all night with the date talking forever. Oh no, not enough sleep. Rush to my house and get clothes for an interview and get ready at his place. I forget to bring shoes. I show up at the interview with a nice blouse, slacks, and flip flops O_o. The interview went great, then he wanted to bring me to walk around the shop (steel toe required) so he looks at my feet and asks me why I'm wearing sandals. I told him I had gotten ready at a friend's and stayed out closer to the job and forgot to bring shoes. *facepalm* He actually looked for shoes and even gave me a voucher to get some from the store. I returned with boots and went through the shop. Gave him back the boots and we laughed and joked about the situation. He said they would let me know by the beginning of this week, we will see what happens but I'm pretty sure I'm not getting the job.
—Guest Forgetful

Spit Out Chewing Gum Before Entering

At a recent interview, knowing that it is common knowledge not to chew gum during a job interview, I was too nervous to ask one of the workers if they had a trash can nearby, as I didn't see any bins around their store and had no tissues with me. I know this will sound gross, but I had to spit my gum into my left hand just before the interview started so I could still properly shake with my right hand. I wondered if the interviewer had noticed, but I tried not to think about it and focused on the task at hand.
—Guest Dan G.

Extreme Nervousness

When I got my first job at 18, I didn't even have an interview, but I remember my first day on the job. I had applied at a small restaurant, and in lieu of an interview, I was placed in the kitchen to see how I did. If I did all right and the restaurant needed me, I would be called back. Well, because I lacked experience, I was so nervous that I did not handle the pressure of food service very well. I remember holding back tears because I was afraid I wouldn't get the orders out on time. When a coworker asked me how I was doing, I replied, "Really, really nervous." This was not my best working moment, but at least it taught me a lesson for future interviews -- take some time to get up your confidence before you enter.
—Guest Elizabeth

This is a Joke

Most people who conduct interviews are just as much an idiot as the people spoken about on this page. The question I love is this: "So what are you on now?" I never answer that question. That question is irrelevant, the question you need to ask is what are you looking for? Never tell them what you earn, it's none of their business. I know how much I will accept a new job for and I tell them when & if this question comes up. If they don't like that then fine, don't call me as I do not want to work for that kind of organization anyway.
—Guest Laughing

Preferred Management Style

It was my first interview after college and the interviewers asked what management style I work best under. I replied just fine but ended the response with "... That's how I roll." Oh boy. Somehow I got the job and asked them a few years later at a bar did they hear that? They couldn't remember, but if they did, I wouldn't have gotten the job!
—Guest Lucky

First Interview Mistake

I applied for many jobs, and finally had my first ever interview at the age of 17. I had no idea of how interviews were structured, so when asked 'tell me about yourself' my answer was "My name is ..I live in..I have so so brothers and sisters" and so forth. It was not until the next question that I realised how stupid the answer to the first question was. Definitely was not called back.
—Guest guest tee

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