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Arslan Ahmad

5 Common Interview Mistakes

Avoid these 5 Common Interview Mistakes
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Do you remember your first interview experience?

The anxiety of finding a new job and going through interviews, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming. Memories of this experience are often wrapped with bittersweet embarrassing moments.

Even seasoned professionals can slip up during interviews.

Therefore, it’s important to stay sharp and appear prepared no matter how many interviews you’ve done.

In this blog, we will discuss the 5 common interview mistakes that candidates make and how they can avoid them smartly.

1. Forgetting to Highlight Your Personal Story

Every individual is different and has a unique personality. Your resume doesn’t define your true self to the recruiter.

Many candidates get so focused on technical questions that they forget to prepare to talk about themselves.

Interviewers want to know who you are beyond your resume. They want to know you as a person before making you a part of their team.

You can expect questions like:

  • Who are you?

  • What tasks have you worked on?

  • What challenges have you faced?

Tip: Think of this part of the interview as telling your story. Failing to talk about yourself is often considered as a red flag by the interviewers.

Try to highlight experiences that shaped you professionally.

For example, you might say, “During my internship at XYZ Company, I led a project where we reduced process time by 20%. This taught me the value of efficiency and teamwork.”

Check out the 3 major mistakes to avoid in your resume.

2. Skipping Company Research

The corporate world is all about competing to rank and convert sales.

When you appear for an interview, it is important to show that you want to work for that particular company.

Companies want to know why you’re interested in them, not just any job.

You need to prove to them that you are genuinely interested in working for them.

For this reason, you need to learn about the company you have applied for and find out what they do and how they do it.

It is pretty simple nowadays with all the information available online.

Here’s how to research the company:

  • Explore their website to understand their services and products.

  • Identify a few areas that interest you and prepare questions about them.

  • Read reviews on sites like Glassdoor to see what others say about the company.

  • Check out their tech stack and see what interests you.

  • Look them up on LinkedIn to get a sense of their workplace environment and recent activities.

Tip: When you mention something specific about the company, it shows you’ve done your homework.

For instance, “I saw on your website that you’re launching a new product line soon. I’m excited about this because it aligns with my background in product development.”

In this way, you can impress the interviewer with your knowledge, which can help you stand out.

3. Panicking When You Get Confused

Everyone can get confused at some point during the interview which is alright.

If you’re asked a question you don’t know, it’s easy to panic. But you must not lose your cool and stay composed.

Here’s how to handle it:

  • Pause and take a deep breath.

  • Use phrases like, “That’s a great question,” or “Let me think for a moment.”

  • Ask for clarification if you need more information.

  • If you really don’t know, it’s okay to say, “I’m not sure, but I can find out.”

Tip: If you get asked something that you don’t know about, don’t go blank.

Instead of freezing up, take a moment, smile, and say, “I haven’t encountered that before, but I’d love to learn more about it.” Your honesty and eagerness to learn can impress the interviewer more than the perfect answer.

Discover the 6 soft skills you need to clear technical interviews.

4. Treating the Interview Like a Conversation

Interviews sound intimidating no matter if you are an industry professional or appearing for the first time.

In this situation, many candidates forget that the interview is a two-way street.

It is your chance to learn about the company. Not asking questions can make you seem uninterested or unprepared. Therefore, you must not shy away from asking questions.

It’s important to show your curiosity about the role and the company. Here’s what you can do:

  • Prepare a list of questions beforehand.

  • Ask about the company’s culture, team structure, and growth opportunities.

  • Inquire about the challenges the team is facing and how you can contribute.

You can ask about the following things:

  • Team size

  • Future projects

  • Workplace events

  • Common Challenges

  • Responsibilities of the post you have applied for

Tip: Treat the interview as a conversation. Ask questions that matter to you.

For example, “Can you tell me more about the team I’d be working with?” or “What are the biggest challenges your team is facing right now?”

5. Being Overconfident

Confidence is great, but overconfidence can be a dealbreaker. It’s important to strike the right balance.

Even if you are a seasoned professional, don’t give others the wrong impression. Experienced candidates are considered arrogant if they don’t participate well.

Here’s how overconfidence can trip you up:

  • Assuming you don’t need to prepare because you’ve done similar jobs before.

  • Bragging about your skills without providing concrete examples.

  • Interrupting the interviewer or not listening carefully.

Tip: Be confident but humble. Don’t keep talking about yourself all the time and let the interviewer ask questions too.

Show your skills with examples, and always listen carefully to the interviewer.

For instance, “In my previous role, I led a project that increased efficiency by 15%, but I always worked closely with my team to achieve this.”

Check out the complete roadmap from application to landing a tech job in 2024.

Final Thoughts

Each interview is a learning experience. You need to keep learning to grow as a professional in your field.

Not every company will be the right fit for you which is okay. Therefore, whether you get the job or not, use each interview to improve and prepare for the next one.

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