Common job interview mistakes

Learn from and avoid these common job interview mistakes

Here are 6 common job interview mistakes that people make in interviews that you can learn from and avoid. Arriving late and looking scruffy can leave a bad impression. Here are some other mistakes to avoid.

Don’t arrive late for the job interview

Arriving late for an interview is a mistake that’s very difficult to recover from and is bound to annoy any prospective employer. It shows that you will probably show up late for work and it also sends your prospective employer the message that the job isn’t a priority for you.

Job interview mistakes to avoid
Get to the job interview 10 minutes early

Avoid being late by being prepared. Make sure you know where you’re going. Plan how you’ll get there. Ensure you leave early enough to be at your interview at least 10 minutes before it’s scheduled to start. This way you can visit the restroom, have a drink of water and collect your thoughts. Rushing can leave you feeling overwhelmed, so rather avoid it. Arriving too far in advance can also be negative. If you have a lot of time on your hands, rather wait at a coffee shop close by.

Don’t badmouth previous employers

Talking negatively about previous companies and employers is a definite no-no. Avoid this at all costs. The person interviewing you might know the person or company you’re talking about and this can be detrimental to your chances of getting a job. It also shows that you might speak negatively about the company you’re interviewing at. Rather stay away from this type of talk and focus on the positive aspects of previous work experience.

Don’t dress inappropriately for the job interview

Making a good first impression is very important when going for an interview. Wearing the wrong outfit is bound to make a bad first impression on prospective employers. Always dress appropriately. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed. Look professional. There’s a saying that says “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” This is definitely true for an interview, so dress for success.

Making a good first impression is very important when going for a job interview.
Dress for success

Don’t walk into the job interview without doing your research

This is one of the most important parts of any job interview. Know the company you’re applying for a position at by doing your research beforehand. Be prepared to answer any questions they ask you about the company. If you have all the answers, you can impress a prospective employer with your knowledge. Read and understand their vision and mission statements. Go over their values. All of this information can be found on the company’s website, so do look at it carefully. Being aware of these aspects will also allow you to determine whether you will fit into their culture.

Don’t talk excessively

Be careful with how you talk during an interview. Waffling can give the impression that you don’t know what you’re talking about. When asked a question, think about your response and then give clear responses. Keep them short and to the point. Make sure you stay on the topic and try to avoid personal stories unless you’re specifically asked for one. Always remain professional and never use foul language. The way you talk and portray yourself can make or break your chances of getting that job.

Keep all of the above in mind and you’ll be equipped to ace that interview. Now start looking for a new job and sending in those applications.

As a jobseeker, you may register your Register your CV free. We have thousands of registered employer accounts who do not actively post online job vacancies but do search job seeker CVs and contact them directly. is a free online recruitment site for employers to post job vacancies and for job seekers to find the best jobs in South Africa. Have a look through all our current employment opportunities in South Africa to see if there are any current job vacancies that you would like to apply for. Remember that companies do post new jobs every day, so set up job alerts to be notified of any current job postings in South Africa.

If you are a recruiter or a company looking to fill a position, you may post jobs for free on our free online job posting site. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us!

You may also find these articles useful:

Job interview tips & questions

7 Mistakes First Time Job Seekers Make

Ace your job interview with these simple tips

How would you explain unemployment gaps

Find your next job at freerecruit

Follow us: