The Misadventures of the 1-on-1: Common Mistakes to Avoid During Interviews

Written by Farrah Pendleton

Graphic Design by Mary Johnson

If there is one thing that job seekers can agree on, interviews are more like interrogations, not conversations. Job seekers focus more on structuring the meeting to a cookie-cutter context rather than having that one-on-one experience with you. Interviews are a chance to make an impression that resonates with your dream job. In this article, you’ll learn what interview mistakes could cost you the job and how to avoid them in the future!

Time to Suit Up!

Let’s all rejoice because the Great Resignation is upon us! Don’t let the word “resignation” worry you. Resignation means job positions are available. As a result, employers are more open to giving you reasons to stay. The dissatisfaction in the workforce pushes employers to offer better work conditions. Instead of having the employer decide everything, you can determine what you would like your future in their company to look like.

Judging on appearance may still be expected, but things are changing. There is still a basis for showing up clean and dressing professionally for your job. There are a handful of questions you can ask yourself to ensure you have the right balance. Yet, no longer is individuality always giving you those lower scores from recruiters. You can throw in some personality to show an employer you’re enthusiastic about your field and confident in your abilities. Right now, we are growing out of that uptight phase. There is something the seemingly perpetual pandemic has given us. It’s the ability to be creative with our appearance in interviews.

In With The New

Having more personality in your attire doesn’t mean you should show up in anything you want. A common mistake is coordinating clothing that is too relaxed or too professional. Try thinking about how your coworkers are dressing. For instance, an accountant should not show up in a graphic tee, just like showing up in a suit would throw off a fast food employer. Think about your job and what professional attire should look like in that setting. Speaking of the location, we can coordinate our virtual space as well. Use a professional-looking background filter or decorate your background space well organized. 

Remember, it’s okay to be comfortable in your skin. Scoring a design job shouldn’t make you feel the need to cover up a tattoo. Working in an office doesn’t mean you must hate colors, and if you do hate colors, that’s who you are! Being familiar with your style and making it look professional brings out confidence. Confidence is your ally, and employers have a knack for noticing it.

The Walking Resume

When there is a ton of pressure weighing you down from remembering what to say and how to say it, don’t sweat it! Practice makes perfect. In fact, there’s no shame in standing in front of a mirror to check yourself or writing a list to remember things by. Rehearsing some lines before the interview will help you sound more natural, as well. Always have your resume or list with you, and regularly update your profile on LinkedIn. Having your resume insight will ensure consistency in your interview. It will hoist you back up when you’re stumbling over a few questions. Although, try to have them memorized instead of looking down for every question. Remember, your employer wants to engage with you, not have a script read to them.

Additionally, updating your LinkedIn profile will give your employer a view of your skills and experiences. LinkedIn is being used more by employers. They’re seeking a better understanding of the employee themselves. This is especially true because of all the remote possibilities. Practicing how to say what you already know about yourself isn’t enough, though. It seems like employers like to catch us off guard in some cases. Pay attention to potential curveball questions that can arise in your interview.

Even though your resume represents your best self, try not to regurgitate it to recruiters. Researching questions and showing your personality in an interview is essential. They want to know that there is more to you than what’s written. Engage with your potential employer in a way that shows you’re enthusiastic about the job.

Man viewing maze representing possible employers

The Strategizer

When the big day comes, focus. Remember that employers take interest in a few key things. They want to know about your experience, skills, education, and what tools you can use. Please make a list of programs you’re familiar with and ensure they’re relevant to the job. If your employer needs workers proficient in Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, and use Mailchimp, a list that you’re familiar with them. Prepare to make an example of these skills in use for your employer, as well. Saying and doing are different. An employer needs real-world examples to judge whether you will be a good fit for their team.

Keep your examples relevant to the job or in how long ago you accomplished these tasks. Sometimes when explaining skills, we tend to bring up skills that may not work with the job. If you’re explaining how you worked as a farmhand ten years ago, that won’t prove your current strength. This leads to the most critical mistake to avoid, staying silent. Employers want people to hold a conversation with them. Instead of letting them talk to you, do not be afraid to ask questions and comments.

Further, a great technique to not get lost in interrogation is building off their questions. For example, what if the interviewer asks about your strengths? Take the chance to ask what are the most difficult hurdles in their business. Another great example of leading a conversation is being upfront about what you’re worth. There’s a stigma around putting a price on our work. It shouldn’t be shameful. Be truthful and confident in what you’re worth! Find your pay range and get it in writing! We all deserve that kind of security. We’ll dive further into becoming equals with an employer in an upcoming blog on our site!

Revel in Victory!

We all know job interviews can be intimidating, but try to view them in a different light! The meeting is your time to shine! Once you have your preparation and confidence built, you are ready for your dream job! If you need more help, apply to our “Win the Gift of a Salary Sweepstakes!” You’ve earned it. To learn more about the career world do’s and don’ts, check out our blogs

Have a Super Day!

Farrah Pendleton Headshot

Farrah Pendleton

I am a Comedy Content Writer for Super Purposes.