The Biggest Mistakes HR Pros See From Job Candidates

We’ve all made an interview faux pas, but an article from lifehacker explains the top mistakes job candidates make time and time again.  We’ve summarized them so the next time you have an interview, you’ll avoid these mistakes and nail it!

Talking Too much
Got the jitters?  Not sure what to say and want to avoid an awkward silence?  Make sure you’re not blabbing on and wasting the interviewer’s time.  Nervousness can counteract engaged listening and cost you some valuable information you could have gained from the interviewer.  Pay attention to the person’s body language and non-verbal signals.

Bad-Mouthing Former Jobs
This is never ok!  It is very possible that the interviewer will ask why you left (or got fired) from your former job.  Resist the urge to vent and talk negatively about the job – it won’t earn you any favor in the potential employer’s eyes.

Ignoring Your Mistakes
Nobody expects you to be perfect, but people do expect you to be responsible for your mistakes.  You’ll get a lot farther by owning up to them rather than pretending they didn’t happen.  This is a great way to earn respect from elders.  Unfortunately, many people are too insecure or even arrogant to own up to mistakes.

Neglecting A Cover Letter
HR personnel are busy people, no doubt, but they will most-likely read your cover letter.  Don’t do a mediocre job and definitely don’t skip it!  Put thought, knowledge of the company and proper grammar into the cover letter.  It will serve you well, especially in the digital age where a good writer is few and far between.

Trying to Hard
HR managers know a bad attitude or ego when they see (or sense) one.  The best advice is to be yourself!  Just relax and enjoy the interview process.  Don’t elaborate on random facts you think will impress the interviewer.

Curbing Enthusiasm
That being said, the interviewer doesn’t want to talk to a wall.  Enthusiasm doesn’t replace skill, hard work, etc., but it does make a difference.  Show the person that you are excited to be there and to be a job candidate!  Don’t let your nerves get the best of you.

Forgetting Manners
Remember all those etiquette rules your mother taught you?  Now is the perfect time to use them!  Give a firm but not over-bearing handshake.  Look the interviewer directly in the eyes (but don’t stare) and give a genuine smile.  Always remember to follow-up!  A physical letter is always better than an email.

You Torpedo the Salary Negotiation
The two common mistakes of salary negotiation are mentioning money too early and forgetting to negotiate at all.  A safe practice is waiting until the right time to bring up money, and then asking an open-end question such as, “What range do you have in mind?”  This will prevent you from sounding presumptuous.


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