4. Being ignorant to the job you applied for
Another side effect of applying to a job that you do not know much about is completely misunderstanding the questions and giving a completely off the planet reply. This is self sabotage because you do not allow your mind to process what’s being send to it for it to be able to reply properly. Instead you panic and focus on one thing only: “how to guess your way out”. Even the honest “I don’t know” is better than this. If you really do not have a clue, the ideal reply for me would be “I do not have experience in these matters but if I were to take an educated guess” … and then go on telling your opinion. Soon after divert swiftly to something that you master better from your own experience. Do not panic or freeze in award silence, it is not the end of the world of you do not the answer to a question, how you react and manage the situation is far more important.
5. Speaking without thinking – seriously
You know this, a job interview is not the place you want to brag about some long forgotten college time adventures on the border of legality. It is not an interrogation but still, be on your guard. People might simply be curious and ask you an open question! Like how did you manage to take a gap year and travel to Japan? No, here you’re not going to tell them that you actually sued your previous employer for wrongful dismissal and spent that year in Japan on their expense. I generally vote for honesty but everybody has their own things that should remain untold, at least in an official context and a job interview is as official as it can get, disregarding how comfortable the interviewer makes you feel. So unless you’re interviewing for the gang around the corner, find a smart way out and do not shock your interviewer with more than they are ready to hear the first time they meet you.
6. Disconnected body language
Gestures, words and the content of your statements must all go into the same direction during an interview. Imagine someone who says in a low voice and avoiding eye contact saying “I am very motivated for this job”. Would you believe them?
7. Lying on your resume
Here is an obvious one but I couldn’t finish the list without it. Lying on your resume will always come out and will probably get you fired or not recruited in the first place. As tempted as you may be, do not say you went to medical school when you actually faint at the sight of blood. Instead draft your resume in a way that puts the more light on your positives and less on your negatives. If you really need to, better leave things out of your resume than lying about them, although chances are high you will get a question about the gap. I repeat, do not lie on your resume, you will get caught in 99% of the cases and it won’t be pretty.