8 Common Interview Fails and How You Can Recover From Them

Got that much-awaited interview call but worried that you might blow your chances of landing the job? We’ve all been there. Getting mixed feelings of nervousness and excitement is normal. 

Do bear in mind that the job interview isn’t just an open platform where the recruiter and candidate exchange vital information about a potential professional association. The hiring manager is there to gauge how well your skills and temperament fit in with the role and organizational culture. 

And, you can bet they are going to throw a couple of difficult, funny, or outrightly weird questions your way. No matter how outlandish they seem, most of these questions are meant to reveal your ability to tackle unexpected problems and situations.

On the other hand, you give your best shot to impress upon them how good a resource you will be for the company. But some of these questions might catch you unawares, and based on your response, can even drown your chances of securing the job. But that’s not the only way to fail at that dream job interview. 

According to some stats, your lack of smile or fashion choices can be reasons a recruiter might give you a pass for the next candidate in line.  

Does that make you wonder if cracking a job interview is pure luck? The good news is, it isn’t. A successful job interview that ends up in an offer requires research, correct attitude, and following the interview dos and don’ts to the T. 

And, speaking of don’ts, here are some epic interview mistakes you should avoid. Bonus: We also have some damage control tips to help you swing a situation in your favor if you do end up with these interview fails in the future.  

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Mistake #1. You Didn’t Do Your Homework

Never show up at an interview without thoroughly researching the company, its business, values, goals, and competitors. The lack of homework shows a lack of initiative and seriousness.

State your career goals in line with the company vision and mission. Analyze the job description, find out industry practices in the role and align your skills and accomplishments accordingly. Ask relevant questions about the company, the job role, performance standards, etc.

If you make an incorrect statement about the company or job role, own up, and request insights from the interviewer. This way, you will showcase your honestly, your ability to recognize your mistake, and the willingness to correct the same — all in one stroke.

Let us now look at the next interview fail.

Mistake #2. You Didn’t Dress the Part 

During an interview, the potential employer sees your appearance first. And your physical appearance speaks volumes about you as a person. Being well-groomed indicates that you are alert and interested in the interaction.

There isn’t any fallback route in case you are underdressed. Still, if you turn up overdressed, you can always say that working in a very formal environment has influenced your wardrobe choice and that you look forward to the company's relaxed fashion sense.

We will now see what's next under the interview fails.

Mistake #3. You Were Late (or Too Early)

Tardiness is perhaps the worst interview mistake that you can commit. The same goes for arriving inordinately early for the interview. The sweet spot is anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes.

In case there is an emergency due to which you will either be late for the interview or will not be able to appear at all, make sure to inform the interviewer well in advance and request a reschedule. This shows that you value time. During the rescheduled session, do not forget to apologize for earlier.

We will now see the next interview fail.

Mistake #4. You Were Not Mindful Of Your Body Language

Body language is part of your physical appearance. You might not be aware, but your posture, hand movements, etc., say a lot about you. Take expert advice to portray positive body language, maintain a pleasant and approachable expression.

There is no way you can recover from an exhibition of poor body language during an interview. It pays to be mindful about what you are communicating through your body language all the time.

Let's find out what's next under the interview fails.

Mistake #5. You Didn’t Keep Your Mobile Phone in Silent Mode

It is extremely distracting if a mobile phone rings in the course of an interview. You may lose track of your response and deliver a less than perfect answer which is undesirable.

In the unfortunate event of you forgetting to turn off the sound of your mobile and it blaring up during the interview, apologize and turn the volume down. If you have to take the call, say it was for a medical emergency, explain the situation briefly, and seek permission politely.

We will now look at the next interview fail.

Mistake #6. You’re Trying Too Hard 

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, hiring managers are known to ask tricky questions to candidates. Not to see what you do not know, but to test how you react when facing a hurdle. 

In case you need to think about your response to one such tricky question, don’t fumble, but ask the interviewer to clarify. Or, request if you can come back to the question in the later course of the interview. But by all means, be honest. Being vague or trying too hard will showcase your lack of confidence and shaky attitude. Admit if you do not know the answer.

When you are answering, do not stretch the truth. And back your response with valid reasons or examples.

Let's now look at the next interview fail.

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Mistake #7. You Feel Uncomfortable Discussing Your Failures

A common question asked during job interviews is to describe a personal failure. Do not feel uncomfortable discussing your failures with a potential employer.

By narrating an instance when you failed, you would be displaying self-awareness. Top it off by analyzing the failure for its causes, assume responsibility, action undertaken to avoid similar setbacks, and finally, your takeaway from the entire episode. This way, the interviewer will see your analytical power, sense of responsibility, urge to rise above the failure to achieve positive outcomes, and focus on learning – a win for you.

Here is the next under the interview fails.

Mistake #8. You Bad-Mouth Past Employers

This is a big no-no. Never talk disrespectfully about past employers. Bad-mouthing your previous employers shows you in a very poor light. Never do this in front of a potential employer. No matter how frustrated you were with an ex-boss or past working conditions, do not vent in a job interview.

In case you have, in the flow of the moment, made ‘not-so-nice statements about your previous jobs, please step back to add some positivity by explaining your learnings from past experiences and showing how eager you are to deploy them to fresh challenges.

Keeping aside the above interview mistakes and ideas to salvage such situations, it is incredibly nice to flaunt during a job interview the relevant additional certifications that you have earned in your professional career. It shows your ‘learner’ attitude, ability to keep up with industry trends and gives you the edge over other candidates.

Simplilearn is your partner in keeping pace with trending industry skills with a wide range of Post Graduate and Master’s Programs, Skill Development Certifications, etc. From Data Science to Cloud Computing and Digital Marketing, these programs are delivered online and certified by international academic giants like California Institute of Technology, Purdue University, IIT Kanpur, University of Massachusetts, among others. Simplilearn also collaborates with global corporates such as Google Cloud, IBM, etc., to offer cutting-edge technological certifications. 

Advance your career by upgrading your skills, grab the opportunity with Simplilearn.

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