10 common Interview Mistakes

Global Accounting Network
Global Accounting Network
Global Accounting Network
10 common Interview Mistakes

The best interviewee is not always the best candidate. Yep, I said it. Sometimes the best candidate gets usurped by the best interviewee because interviewing is a skill and not one all candidates possess. As a recruiter of many, many years’ experience I have seen the full gamut of interview successes and failures. Here is a selection of the most common interview mistakes.

Poor research:

No excuse for this one and it’s unforgivable. I am not ashamed to say there is a trail of lazy recruiters in my past that didn’t get past the first 10 minutes of interview because of lack of research. If you want the job, fight for it.

Weak handshake: 

I’m not suggesting that candidates get or lose jobs based on the power of their grip, but it’s not a great first impression if, as they clasp you firmly, it feels like they have a post-rigor carp in their mitt.

Poor eye contact: 

Another basic one but one that people forget. Don’t glare like you’re in a primary school staring contest, but do maintain eye contact and good non-verbal communications.

Don’t know your own CV:

You wrote it. Or you should have done. If you wrote it, please revise the content, reflect on the achievements, know the content by heart. If an agency revised it, make sure they sent it to you. Nothing worse than being asked about something you’ve never seen.

Poor examples: 

Hopefully you have seen the job spec in plenty of time. Pick the most relevant examples from your career and prepare them in advance. Practice them. Associate a tangible result or benefit to the business with them. We’ve all left interviews kicking ourselves because we should have answered something differently.


Nerves are a terrible affliction. We all get them, particularly if we really want the job. When asked a question, don’t be afraid to take a moment to prepare your answer, refer back to the question, stay close to the point. If you think you rambled, ask “does that answer your question?”

Over confidence: If an interviewer is good, they will expect there to be parts of the job that you haven’t covered, elements from your work history that are weaker than others. Acknowledge them and explain how you would overcome them, rather than fudge over them.

Not asking good questions: 

Some people can rattle off good questions in an interview situation, others need to prepare them in advance. Interviewers always expect them. It’s always good to show preparation by starting questions with “Through my research I noticed that…? Or “As I read your quarterly results I wondered why…?”

Not showing enthusiasm: 

It’s been said, mostly by me, that sales is a transfer of enthusiasm. You are selling yourself as a future business partner to the interviewer and someone who really wants the job. Tread the line between enthusiastic interviewee and over-excited puppy carefully but show enthusiasm. It’s okay to tell them you really like the opportunity.

Not covering off any concerns: 

Unless you have absolutely nailed it, there are likely to be areas you could have done better. Don’t be afraid to ask “Is there anything you would like me to re-cover?” or “Based on this interview, do you have any concerns about my suitability?”

Not an exhaustive list, but a list of common mistakes and worth thinking about even for the most seasoned interviewees. Global Accounting Network works hard to partner candidates through this interview process and provide more than just the basics. Take a look at our testimonials to see how we've helped our clients and candidates through their interviews. 
10 common Interview Mistakes
Date: 12 November 2014
Author: Adrian O'Connor
Tags: Interviews