What's The Biggest Mistake You've Made In A Job Interview?

We asked readers that simple question on Facebook, and you responded. Boy, did you respond. Here's a saucy sampling of your best (worst) mistakes on job interviews.

Two days ago we discussed the six ways you can secretly sabotage your job interview. We followed that up with a simple question on Facebook:


"What's the biggest mistake you've ever made (or observed) in a job interview?"

The responses came streaming in—you've certainly had your fair share of bad experiences, and on either side of the table. Now, here, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite reader replies, which (hopefully) can come in handy the next time you step into the interviewing chamber.

Interviewers, we’ll start with you. Let’s get the tears out of the way.

Despite the fact that you love, or hate (we can’t really tell) your company, crying isn’t going to do anything. Except scare away applicants. And give them a really good story down the line.

Okay, maybe Sally wasn’t as tactful as she could have been (you’re a grown up now, Sally) but are we not allowed to dream? Maybe you want to be a whale tagger, deep sea Submarine builder, or planetary scientist and high altitude diver . . .

Companies, who some have argued are people too, need realistic expectations of their employees.

On the other side of the table, responses were a bit more... interesting.

That's generally not a strong interview strategy—unless your would-be boss is named Bukowski or Simpson.

Note to future applicants: when talking about yourself, the words "no talent" should never leave your mouth.

Confidence is a good thing. Crippling self-indulgence is not. Be assertive when you’re being interviewed, but remember: you’re the one being interviewed. Anything else will get you shredded.

If you're feeling depressed (or embarrassed) after reading this, fear not. We can help.

You should actually feel great about yourself, because you've probably never had an interview go this bad. (Have you?!!) Meanwhile, some folks are trying to make the process better.

Keep in mind that nobody said you can't make a job interview fun. For more good insights, here's a list of interview tricks and ten tips from one of the pros.

Now, go on out there and get 'em!

[Handshake: via Shutterstock]

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7 Comments

  • Joycegibsonschool

    My worst Interview: I showed up early , walks in, My head told me " Everyone is looking at me and talking about me" I ran out of the Interview crying. I've only work on 4 jobs outside my home. I am a staving Cosmetologist that isolates self. Help    Joyce

  • Andre Leibe

    I once had an interview where the interviewer and I simply did not get along. When asked what made me better than the other candidates, I replied that I haven't met them and therefore cannot answer the question. Needless to say, I did not get the job. Funny though, when we met again three years later we got along famously and I started working for him! I suppose we all can have a good or bad day at the interview!

  • DS Wadeson

    Interviewed a potential candidate recently who claimed her by-hand book-binding skills were known in the industry as 'hand-jobs'.  She admitted she felt uncomfortable putting on her CV that she was good at them...

    Cracked the the interview panel right up!! Brilliant. 

  • Jared

    I once had an interviewer ask me to name some movies I found funny. I replied with a few of my favorites.. He replied back and said he liked anything with dark humor with a cold stone look on his face. It was a bit creepy. I was eventually offered the job, but turned it down. I knew the girl who ended up taking the position and she left after about three months due to his creepy personality.

  • Gail Monique Mallo

    Loved this humorous post! :) 

    I think one of the biggest mistake I made during a job interview was when I told them that I was insecure about my height and that it's difficult for me to be assertive working with tall people (they asked for my weakness). YIKES. H.R. called me to tell me that I was a top contender then two days later I got the rejection email .Crushed my heart to pieces.

  • jamie

    One time I was interviewing a woman to help at a law firm. Her chest was basically hanging out of her shirt (as in one almost came out), she talked down to me because she was older and I didn't have a position that was technically higher than the open one and to top it off, she admitted she was leaving her job because her boss was getting old and she would give us his clients' information so we could steal them when he got more senile.