The 9 Most Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid

You've applied for a job you're really interested in and received exciting news: the hiring manager would like to move forward with the interview process!

The day has arrived and you're full of nerves. This is perfectly normal. Yet with a little prep work, you'll be better equipped to rock your interview and make the best possible first impression. Even the most qualified candidate benefits from preparation. Here are 9 interview mistakes to avoid to help you land the job.

The 9 Most Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid

1. Lack of Enthusiasm

You must show energy and enthusiasm if you want to be seriously considered for any opportunity. If a company doesn't see your desire or enthusiasm for a position during an interview, you will likely be disqualified from consideration for the position.

2. Vague Answers

A strong answer must be supported by a detailed example. If you can't provide an example, or the examples you provide in support of your answers are weak, your answers will not make the impact you need to land the position. An experienced interviewer will typically interpret your lack of solid examples as inadequate professional experience and disqualify you for the position.

3. Poor Attitude

Would you hire someone who demonstrated a poor attitude, or who spoke or acted disrespectfully? Conveying a positive attitude can make or break your interview. Being polite and respectful is essential. Show the hiring manager you'll be a team player and an asset to the organization.

4. Lack of Goals and Objectives

Companies hire former military personnel because they are focused and goal oriented. Know what you want going into an interview and bring your goals and objectives to the table. A company will not hire a poorly motivated individual or someone who does not know what he or she wants, acts indecisive, or is not goal oriented.

5. Not checking that everything is working before a virtual interview

Remote job interviews aren't too different from in-person interviews, but there are a few things you should do to make the best impression possible. Before the interview, prepare a distraction-free interview location. Carefully test equipment- computer applications, webcam, microphones- well before the interview. Find out what program the company uses, and then download and test it well before your interview. This will give you the opportunity to make necessary changes or adjustments. On interview day, make sure everything is in place at least 10 minutes before interview time.

6. Lack of Interest

Companies want to hire individuals who are likely to stick around a while. Candidates who show a lack of interest in their company or who are not interested in the type of work offered are unlikely to be offered the position. Do your research beforehand- check out their website, social media profiles, job sites, and more. A little knowledge will impress your interviewer and show the hiring manager you're truly interested. Even if this isn't your dream job, focus on getting your foot in the door, learn the business, and let your performance lead to promotions and career growth.

7. Poor Communication Skills

Good communication skills determine success in a potential role, so hiring managers pay close attention to how a candidate communicates throughout an interview. Maintaining eye contact, speaking articulately and concisely, and paying careful attention to your tone are important steps. Don't let interview jitters get in your way - do some self-analysis beforehand, research common interview questions, and practice your answers. If you don't practice, you won't be able to communicate as effectively as you will need to in an interview setting. Poor communication or presentation skills typically result from a lack of preparation.

8. Unrealistic Salary Demands

Research your desired job title by name, geographic location, and years of experience or utilize online networks to learn the average salary range before your interview. Figuring out your salary expectations beforehand will help you avoid asking for too much or too little. Be realistic. Get your foot in the door and work your way up. The most successful military candidates are those that focus on the opportunity and long term growth potential a company offers, versus short-term compensation. But don't shortchange yourself either.

9. Poor Personal Appearance

Appearance in an interview is critically important. Dress like a professional; a clean and neat appearance will help you make a good first impression and show you have respect for both the company and the hiring manager's time. Treat this interview as if you are going to meet your commanding officer for the first time. A poor appearance can doom an interview from the start. Even if it's a virtual interview, dressing the part will boost your confidence and help you bring your best self to the discussion.

Avoid These Mistakes, and Up Your Chances of Getting the Job

Job interviews may be nerve wracking, but with a little preparation and planning you'll soon find yourself in a position you love. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can set yourself up for success throughout the hiring process. Ask your Candidate Recruiter if you have specific questions about what to do and not do during the interview process.

Whether you're Active Duty and considering a civilian career or a Veteran looking for a better fit, Orion Talent's Veteran Placement Services are the perfect place to start. Our military DNA runs deep and our recruiters understand the unique challenges servicemembers face when retiring or separating from the military. Start your journey today.

The 9 Most Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid

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