Worst Interview Mistakes (and How You Can Recover!)


Let’s face facts; everyone makes a mistake from time to time. But, when that misstep happens in an interview, it can be particularly disheartening, sending your confidence through the floor and firmly putting you on the defensive.

But, even the worst interview mistakes can be recoverable, as long as you know what to do to mitigate any damage. To help you do just that, here are some of the most common interview missteps and what you can do to fix them.

Coming Up Blank

Interviews are high-pressure situations. And, when you’re under stress, instead of the answer to a question quickly popping to mind, you might draw a blank.

Brain freezes happen, so this isn’t inherently a problem if you react quickly. Start by asking the interview to clarify the question, if a particular part had you stumped, or even request a second to consider your response. Asking for a little time doesn’t necessarily signal a problem as some hiring managers interpret is as you simply wanting to think before you speak.

If you have a partial answer, share it. If that doesn’t get your thoughts moving, be honest that you’re coming up short. Then, ask if you can return to the question later or provide an overview of how you would go use your relevant skills to find the answer if the question is related to an on-the-job task or procedure.

Not Silencing Your Phone

Having your phone ring during an interview is jarring, and isn’t going to go over well with the interviewer. If this happens, you need to act fast. Silence the incoming call, then quickly power off your phone. Apologize for the interruption and then refocus on the task at hand.

Not Preparing Any Questions

While asking questions at the end of an interview may seem optional from your perspective, in the eyes of the hiring manager, it isn’t.

Ideally, you want always to have well-researched questions ready that relate specifically to the position or the company, showing the interviewer you are genuinely interested in the opportunity. But, if you don’t have any ready, you shouldn’t default to bypassing this crucial step.

Instead, have a few basic questions in your back pocket that work for nearly any interview. For example, ask the hiring manager, “Do you have any concerns that would prevent me from being seen as a top candidate for the position?” works for almost any scenario and gives you a chance to respond to points that could keep them from extending an offer.

“What do you like most about working here?” gives you information about the company’s culture, and it isn’t a topic usually covered in the bulk of the interview.

Having a few questions available that always work can save your interview, so consider adding the two above to your repertoire, just in case.

By following the tips above, you can recover from some of the worst interview mistakes, giving you a chance to move forward and potentially secure the job.

If you would like to learn more about avoiding interview mistakes or are seeking new opportunities, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our professional recruiters today and see how our services can benefit you.






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