Job Interview Tips

4 Mistakes That Make You Seem Unqualified in a Job Interview

Written by Peter Jones

Job interviews are often your best chance of showing that you are the right person for the job. But even if you have all of the ideal experience and talent, if you make a big misstep in the interview, you’ll be passed over for someone else—even if that someone is slightly less qualified than you are.

Here are the top 4 mistakes to avoid making. Make sure you don’t give the wrong impression to your interviewer and end up looking less qualified than you actually are!

1. Admitting your nerves

You might think that saying you’re sooooo nervous might make you look human and sincere, and while it might be endearing in another social situation, it’s not a very good strategy for interviewing. Remember, you’re supposed to be showing yourself in the most professional, calm-under-pressure, capable light. Besides, if you’re so nervous at the interview, it gives them the chance to imagine you being nervous in the office. Keep calm and fake confidence!

2. Not preparing

Make sure that you know who is interviewing you, what their role is, what the company does, what you’d be doing—all the basics. Then make sure you have a list of questions ready for when you’re asked what questions you might have. (Then make sure not to ask any of your questions that could be answered by a quick Google). Basically, do your homework. It really shows when you don’t.

3. One word answers

No matter how simple the question seems, you should be prepared to elaborate. Remember, every question is a chance for you to shine. Also to cram in details and anecdotes about how much butt you kicked at your last job. Get your selling points across!

4. Not asking questions

That whole “Do you have any questions for us?” question is not a formality. This is another opportunity for you to go above and beyond—or to fall flat. Make sure, as above, not to ask any questions that could have been answered by doing your proper homework. Be as prepared and as confident and comfortable as possible and it will feel more like a conversation. Try to come up with interesting, engaging questions in advance that ideally show off the level of preparation you’ve put into your interview.

About the author

Peter Jones