Job interview mistakes. We’ve all made one on this list at one point or another. No one is perfect at job interviews on a first go-around. The important thing is that we learn from these mistakes so that we don’t blow it when our dream job comes around.
Here are 10 job interview mistakes young job seekers always make:
1. Talking Too Much About Ourselves
Young people have a reputation of being “over-sharers.” Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone, but these generalizations become generalizations for a reason. In the job interview, this weakness becomes obvious with the “tell me about yourself” question. This does not mean give every single detail about your life, which tends to happen when we don’t have a prepared response.
2. Talking Too Little About Ourselves
On the flip side, some people make the mistake of speaking too little about their strengths and skills relative to the position. This comes from the fear of coming off as cocky or arrogant. The bottom line is the interview is a sales pitch. Selling yourself is encouraged.
This mistake comes down to a misunderstanding of the importance of dress in making a first impression. Humans are visual creatures. Our subconscious makes snap judgements based on appearance. This means hiring managers are associating character traits with each interviewee based on dress. In a way, the purpose of the interview is to confirm or debunk these snap judgements.
4. Not Doing Our Homework on the Company
I’m guilty of this one. It didn’t cost me the job because I was able to improvise (aka B.S. a serviceable answer) — but it could have. Take some notes on the company’s recent successes the night before your interview to avoid this job interview mistake.
5. Posting Questionable Items on Social Media
This also falls into the oversharing category. When I was in college I posted a lot of dumb stuff that I wouldn’t want employers to see. Since college I have given my social media counts a scrub and think twice before every post.
6. Thinking Our Age Is a Disadvantage
This job interview mistake is mental. Someone older than you is going to have more experience. You can either let that defeat you or figure out a way to frame your age as an advantage. I’d suggest the latter.
7. Not Asking Enough Questions
One of the raps on young job seekers is we aren’t asking our interviewers enough questions. Create a list of 3 to 5 questions to ask, and make one specific to the interviewer.
8. Using Unprofessional Language (Um, Uh, Like)
Um, uh, and like are words we say when we are answering a question off the cuff. The best way to eliminate these words is to do mock interviews with a friend or career coach.
9. Being Unwilling to Commit Long-Term
Hiring managers naturally want someone who wants to stick with one company her entire career. It means less money spent on recruiting, which means more profit. Get out in front of this assumption through your research of the company. If the hiring manager sees you know a lot about the company, she will assume you wouldn’t want to ever leave if you got the job.
10. Using Poor Writing Skills
Almost every job description lists “excellent written and verbal communication skills” as a requirement. The problem is hiring managers are seeing poor writing skills in the form of resume errors. Make sure proofreading is part of your resume checklist.