Being Late Will Cost You (and 4 Other Interview Mistakes)

It doesn’t matter how impressive your resume is. It doesn’t matter how qualified you believe you are for a certain position. There are mistakes you can NOT make prior to the face-to-face interview, during the interview, or after the interview.

As is often the case in our blog, we have a case study that illustrates this point. We recently had a candidate who arrived 45 minutes late to an interview due to traffic. There was an event happening in town that resulted in crowded streets and congested traffic.

Here’s the problem: we told the candidate about the event, giving them plenty of time to prepare for that contingency. They were still 45 minutes late.

So what happened? That mistake cost them the job. The hiring manager said that if the candidate was late to an interview, then they would be late to a customer’s office. (The job was a sales position.)

Below are four other interview mistakes that will cost you:

#1—Not making eye contact

As a candidate, you want to put people at ease during the interview. When you avoid making eye contact, you do not put them at ease. Yes, you might be shy. However, when somebody habitually avoids eye contact, people interpret that as a sign of weakness and/or dishonesty.

#2—Distracting attire

You want to dress in a professional fashion. Even if you’re the kind of person who likes to “make a statement” with your wardrobe, resist that temptation for the interview. Ask yourself this question: how do you want to be memorable during your interview? For your skills, experience, and presentation . . . or for the clothing that you wore?

#3—Talking too much

This makes people almost as uneasy as avoiding eye contact. Everybody knows at least one person who talks too much. Would you hire that person? Some people talk more when they get nervous, but the hiring manager is not likely to recognize that as the situation. Err on the side of caution. Measure your words carefully.

#4—Poor communication skills

It doesn’t matter what job it is. Communication skills are critical. You must be able to effectively interact and communicate with other human beings. This means no slang phrases or informal language, and it goes without saying that profanity is prohibited.

Don’t commit these interview mistakes! They represent sure-fire ways to sabotage your efforts and ensure that you don’t receive an offer of employment from the company.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to