10 Interview Fails You Should Dodge to Get That Dream Job

black woman in a job interview

So you’ve been applying for tons of jobs and have finally landed an interview. Congratulations!!

The interview process can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. The good news is that we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll go over 10 common interview fails that could cost you the job, and give you tips on how to dodge them like a pro.

Lack of Preparation: Snooze and Lose

If you’re not prepared for an interview, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Research the company and position beforehand so you can tailor your responses and show that you’re truly interested in the job. If you’ve been applying of a ton of jobs, it’s probably a good idea to review the job description for the role that you’re interviewing for. One of the worst things you can do is show up for an interview and forgetting what job you actually applied for. Don’t be caught snoozing!

Inappropriate Attire: Dress to Impress

First impressions matter, so make sure you’re dressed to impress! Dress professionally and avoid flashy accessories or strong perfumes. You want to show that you take the interview seriously and respect the company’s culture.

If your interview is virtual, you should still make sure that you look your best. Check that your outfit looks good on your camera and avoid colours that are prone to overexposure.

Being Late: Time Is Not on Your Side

You’d never be late to board your flight when going on vacation. So why would you be late for a job interview?

Showing up late to an interview is a major no-no. Plan ahead, leave early, and arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled interview time. For virtual interviews, log in 5-10 minutes before the interview time so you can check that your internet connection, camera and microphone are working well. Remember, time is not on your side!

Poor Body Language: Don’t Be a Sloucher

Your body language says a lot about you, even more so when you’re on camera. Avoid slouching, crossing your arms, or fidgeting. Sit up straight, make eye contact as much as possible, and use friendly gestures to show that you’re engaged and interested.

Failing to Answer Questions Effectively: Don’t Get Tongue-Tied

When it comes to answering interview questions, preparation is key. Again, it’s a good idea to review the job description and practice answering a few questions that you’re likely to get. Avoid giving vague or incomplete answers that don’t address the question. Take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, and provide a clear and concise response.

Not Asking Questions: Be Curious, Not Clueless

If you’ve made it to an interview, chances are you’ve got the right skills for the job. What will make you standout is the quality of the questions you ask. Asking good questions during the interview process shows that you’re genuinely interested in the job. Don’t be clueless! Prepare a list of relevant questions beforehand and ask them at the end of the interview.

Speaking Negatively About Previous Employers: Don’t Be a Debbie Downer

Speaking negatively about previous employers or colleagues can be a red flag for potential employers. You may have had a bad experience at your previous company, however it’s best to avoid bad-mouthing. Instead, focus on discussing your skills and things that you learned from your past experience.

Overemphasizing Money: Don’t Make It Rain Just Yet

While salary is important, overemphasizing it during the interview process can be a turn-off for employers. Focus on discussing your skills and experience and how they align with the job requirements. If salary expectations arise, provide a range or indicate that it’s negotiable based on experience.

Overconfidence: Humility Is Key

Confidence is great, but overconfidence can be a deal-breaker. Arrogance and entitlement can leave a negative impression and suggest that you may not be a team player. Be confident, but also humble and respectful during the interview process.

Lack of Follow-up: Stay in the Loop

Following up after an interview shows that you’re interested in the job and can set you apart from other candidates. Send a thank-you email or note within 24 hours of the interview, reiterate your interest in the role, and ask about the next steps in the hiring process.


By avoiding these 10 interview fails, you’ll increase your chances of landing your dream job. Remember to prepare, dress appropriately, arrive on time, use positive body language, answer questions effectively, ask relevant questions, avoid negativity, focus on skills over money, be confident but humble, and follow up. Good luck!


  1. How can I calm my nerves before an interview? Take deep breaths, practice visualization techniques, and remind yourself of your accomplishments to help build confidence and reduce anxiety.
  2. How do I address a gap in my employment history? Be honest about the reason for the gap, focusing on what you learned during that time and how it’s made you a stronger candidate.
  3. What if I don’t know the answer to a question during the interview? It’s okay to admit you don’t know the answer. You can also ask for clarification or more information, then try to provide a thoughtful response based on your understanding.
  4. How should I handle salary discussions during the interview? If the interviewer brings up salary, be prepared with a researched salary range based on the position and your experience. If possible, try to defer detailed salary discussions until a job offer is made.

Photo by Christina Morillo

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