Getting shortlisted or called back for an interview is a big deal. To avoid sabotaging your chances of getting the job you’ve spent so much time looking for, here are some common interview mishaps to avoid.

Arriving late

Arriving late to your interview isn’t a good first impression to make. It changes not only your schedule, but the schedule of all the other candidates that come after you. It can also cause your interview to be cut short, meaning the panel might not get around to asking you everything they needed to. Aim to arrive ten minutes before your scheduled time and if you’re running late, update your interviewer on the situation via a phone call or message.

Not doing your research

Do research on the company before showing up for your interview, by checking out their website and social media pages. This is a great way to show a sense of interest, initiative and enthusiasm. Managers love to see that you chose to apply for the job because you love the company’s culture and because you’re passionate and confident that you can handle the role. Be sure to also brush up on your relevant knowledge. You may be asked a question or given an assignment to do, to showcase that you know the fundamentals of the role you’re applying for.

Bad mouthing previous employers

Even though interviewers expect candidates to be honest, sometimes too much honesty, especially if it’s negative, can jeopardise your chances of getting hired. Speaking ill of previous employers is a bad look. There’s a high chance that interviewers will ask you questions like, “why are you looking to leave your current job?”. Keep this answer as diplomatic and professional as possible. Avoid saying things like “I hate my boss” or “that company sucks”. Rather say something like “Although I’ve learnt a lot from my time with them, it’s time for me to move on and seek other opportunities”.


We’re pretty sure you’ve heard stories about how people have lied on their CVs and still got hired. This is great for them, but your story may end differently if you get caught in your lie. Providing incorrect reference contact details or adding experience you don’t have to your CV may cost you your job. Even if you get hired, those lies can catch up to you, and no employer wants to hire someone who’s dishonest. Make your CV memorable while keeping it factual.

Not asking questions

At the end of most interviews, the interviewer usually asks “Do you have any questions?”. Not asking questions can make you come off as uninterested, but it also deprives you of finding out more about what’s expected of you. Prepare a few questions prior to your interview and avoid asking questions that’ve already been answered in the interview.

If you’re a first-time worker, making interview mistakes is common. There are also some mistakes you may not always have control over, especially during virtual interviews, but it’s important to always try your best. Here are helpful tips you can use to make sure your next interview goes smoothly, both on a one-on-one basis and in a group setting.

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