5 Common Interview Mistakes That Might Keep You From Getting the Job

Not to stress you out stylish job-seekers, but there are about a million things you can do wrong in an interview. Of course, because you can only worry about so much (and we know you’re dedicating a lot of headspace to your outfit), we asked an expert recruiter for her top five interview mistakes. Nasty Gal recruiter Chloé Polanco has interviewed thousands of individuals, which means she’s seen it all—and knows which missteps can end up being a deal-breaker.

Scroll down to memorise her top five interview don’ts!

Mistake #1

“There is rarely an acceptable excuse to be late, but we get that sometimes it happens. If you find yourself running late to an interview (even by a few minutes), go out of your way to let us know as soon as possible with an email and/or phone call, and also apologise when you arrive. Never show up late and hope that maybe we won't notice. It's a huge turn off and makes us question your respect for our time and ability to follow instruction.”

Mistake #2

“Shake my hand. Sadly the handshake seems to be slowly disappearing. Shaking hands is not only respectful, but physical touch is proven to form a deeper connection than words alone. Shake my hand when you arrive, even if you've been here before, and as a sign of thanks when you leave.”

Mistake #3

“Avoid using words with negative connotations when talking about responsibilities in a past or current role—for example, saying 'I had to assist clients' rather than 'I got to assist clients.' It's amazing how such a small word can change the way I perceive you as a potential hire. Saying that you have to do something doesn't show me that you're excited about the work you're doing and makes me question your work ethic and positivity.”

Mistake #4

“Slow your pace. Sometimes when candidates get nervous they start talking quickly, and it can be really hard to follow. Be aware of your interviewer's speaking pace and if you notice that you sound like a runaway train in comparison, take a breath and pause between thoughts. This also allows for a more productive dialogue during your interview.”

Mistake #5

“Nothing is more distracting than an interviewee who can't maintain eye contact. Your main focus should be on the interviewer and not out the window, behind me, or on your own reflection in a mirror. If you're eyes aren't on me, I'm wondering what it is you're looking at and questioning if you're truly interested in the role.”

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What's your interview tip? Let us know in the comments, and then check out Joanna Coles' fascinating career advice below. 


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