10 Common Job Interview Mistakes Recruiters Dislike

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For most people, preparing for a job interview usually comes with a certain degree of anxiety. This is because most times, you may not know what to expect in an interview. Yet, while some recruiters prefer to use unique interview questions, there are some mistakes job candidates must avoid if they intend to really impress any recruiter.

During the recruitment process, recruiters have to sieve through a torrent of applications. As a job candidate, keeping your CV at the top of the pile and fresh in the mind of the recruiter means taking conscious steps to avoid common interview mistakes.

But how do you make a good impression at an interview, especially when different companies have different hiring criteria?

Although the final decision usually rests on the shoulders of the recruiter, we’ve identified the most common mistakes that could derail your chances of getting that ideal job.

Job Interview Mistake #1: Lack of Attention to Detail

Certain jobs that have to do with the handling of sensitive materials or data might require a high level of attention and discipline. And the recruiter might be subtly observing the candidate’s composure.

This is why it is very important to pay attention to the required documents and ensure you provide them in the specified format.

If you’re instructed to bring your documents in hard copy format, be sure to print and arrange them in a neat file. A flash drive is also a very portable means to carry documents for an interview.

Job Interview Mistake #2: Incriminating Social Content

With the global shift to digital processes steadily climbing, many recruiters are turning to social media as a tool for candidate screening.

According to a poll by CareerBuilder, 57 per cent of employers have rejected applicants based on incriminating information found online.
If you’re corporate-minded, it’s important to have only work-related or socially friendly information on a social media page you intend to use for a job application.

Recruiters would prefer to easily access information about your skills in relation to the job via these social media platforms.

READ: 5 Crucial Steps Every Job Seeker Needs to Get a Job Quickly

Job Interview Mistake #3: Lack of Relevant References

Be sure to get references from people who know about your career development and progress. It’s important for them to be able to give complimentary and persuasive remarks about the skills the recruiter might ask about.

Speak to your references and inform them of the kind of questions they might need to answer before passing their contact details to the recruiter.

Job Interview Mistake #4: Failing to Research the Employer

While preparing for an interview, every candidate is expected to research the employer in order to properly answer questions relating the job to your skillset. This will likely give you an edge over other candidates.

You can also research the recruiter on social media platforms and exploit shared interests to start a more cordial conversation.

A deeper research can also lead you to interesting facts about the employer which you can leverage during your interview.

Job Interview Mistake #5: Under-dressing for the Interview

Even though the digital workspace is advocating for less emphasis on dress codes, recruiters tend to be more biased towards candidates that show up looking smart.

As much as the company might have casual dress codes, a casual appearance at an interview can set you off on the wrong foot.

You should also pay attention to your scent. Ensure you smell nice but also try not to apply your cologne execessively such that it becomes unpleasant to the recruiter.

Job Interview Mistake #6: Arriving Late for the Job Interview

Unless there’s a natural obstacle or disaster or a health issue, you should strive to arrive early at the interview venue. Being punctual allows you to gather composure and go over the important details of your brief.

Punctuality also allows the recruiter to perceive you as reliable and organized. HR Experts recommend that candidates arrive no later than 10 minutes to the scheduled interview time.

Job Interview Mistake #7: Failing to ask Questions

Asking questions during an interview shows the recruiter that you’re interested in the role and keeps the conversation interactive.

Of course, doing this step successfully requires you to have done some research on the employer.

At the end of the interview, the recruiter or employer will usually ask if you have any questions. Declining to ask questions might make you seem uninterested in the job role.

Job Interview Mistake #8: Bringing up Salary first

While it is important to know what your remuneration will be, it is not advisable for job candidates to bring up salary negotiations first during a job interview. This usually puts you in a weaker negotiating position.

At one point or another, the recruiter will bring up the salary discussion but if you beat them to it, you might seem desperate. It’s usually best to discuss salary after it’s been mentioned by the recruiter.

Job Interview Mistake #9: Rehearse your Brief

As you prepare for your interview, you should go through the list of common interview questions recruiters usually ask and ensure you prepare a pitch that amplifies the skills relevant to the job.

Be sure to review the job description and candidate requirements while preparing your pitch. Any skill you mention in your pitch should solve a specific problem of the employer.

Job Interview Mistake #10: Thank You Notes are Nice

These days, the importance of thank-you notes has been greatly watered down. It is, however, still a very worthy tool in the recruitment playbook.

A simple thank-you note sent to the interviewer within 24 hours, thanking them for the opportunity can influence their final decisions.
It could also boost the chances of the recruiter contacting you for a future role if you don’t get the role you applied for.

READ: An Intern’s Checklist: 5 Vital Things To Know Before Applying For Any Internship


Like everything else in life, there is usually no substitute to proper preparation. Avoiding these common interview mistakes are the keys to a successful interview and can greatly improve your chances of getting hired for the job.

Luckily, our talent management platform makes it easier for job candidates to gain access to updates on new interview tips and tricks recruiters might use.

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