5 Really Bad Interview Mistakes to Avoid!

job interview tips

Good Interview Tips!

Greg Harms, LCPC, CADC

If you are looking for a job in Chicago or elsewhere, this article is for you! The interview is commonly seen as one of the most important parts of any job hunting process. Not only do you get a chance to meet with the people you hope to eventually work for and discuss the terms and conditions of your employment, but the reverse is also true. Your potential employer gets a chance to meet with you face to face and get a feel for how you will operate as an employee.

While there are a number of tips that you should adhere to in order to make the interview go as smoothly as possible, there are also a number of interview mistakes that you’ll want to avoid at all costs. Remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression, so you need to do whatever it takes to make it a good one.

1. Self Confidence

One of the most important tools that you should take with you into any interview is self-confidence. Remember that you’ve already proven that you have what it takes to get your foot in the door – that’s something to be celebrated. If you walk into an interview with little to no self confidence, you’ll have a small chance at making the type of impression that you need to take things further.

2. Making the Interview About You

While you should always make note of your accomplishments during an interview, too many people make the mistake of making things all about themselves during this all-important process. In order to make the best first impression during an interview, you need to keep one very simple tip in mind. The goal of an interview isn’t to talk about how great you are as a person. It’s to talk about how well you’ll fit the company and what you’ll be able to do to help them achieve their own goals. Doing otherwise may give the person interviewing you the impression you are a narcissist.

3. Failing to Properly Research

Another mistake that far too many people make involves failing to properly research the company in question before the interview begins. While this can be difficult to do if you have a large number of job interviews lined up, it is still important to show that you’ve done the appropriate amount of homework beforehand. You’ll want to know at least a little bit about the history of the company, the types of positions that they have available, the way they operate on a daily basis and even the person you’re interviewing with to really make an impression.

4. Being Too Passive

Another mistake that people make during the interview process is being too passive at all times. You’ll want to make sure that you’re asking the appropriate number of questions, for example, to help become an active participant in your own interview. Being too passive will quickly give the wrong impression about how you’ll actually perform as an employee, which is something that you absolutely do not want. Remember, you are not interviewing for any old job. This is your career!

5. Being Too Aggressive

The flip side is that some people take things too far and are overly aggressive during the interview. While it’s okay to talk about potential salary, for example, you’ll never want to hit this point too hard. Remember that your interviewer is also trying to see what it will be like to work with you. If you commandeer the interview and steamroll the interviewer, you’re likely to give off a bad impression as a result. The chances of you getting the job then become slim.

Final Thoughts

The fact that you have made it to the point where you have been called in for an interview is a big deal! This means the human resources specialist or hiring manager has identified that you have skills which may be a good fit with what the organization is looking for.



A helpful resource for you to consider regarding how to ace job interviews – and how to make your phone ring to from employers in the first place is the book, Job Interviews for Dummies. Inside, you will find page after page of practical information with concrete tips designed to help you make an awesome first impression.

Many people find that by working with a career counselor, they are better able to prepare for job interviews. There are a number of helpful activities they happen in the career counseling process, including interview role-playing scenarios, which helps with confidence building.

If you are interested in working with one of our Chicago Career Counselors, please give us a call at 773-528-1777 or send us a confidential note using our online contact form.

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