4 Smart Moves You Didn’t Realize Sink Your Chances in an Interview

You have a job interview coming up for a role you’re really excited about. So, obviously, you’re going to do absolutely everything in your power to nail it.

Sometimes, however, it’s your very best intentions that backfire. You prepare for every contingency—and end up causing yourself to make mistakes you would’ve otherwise avoided.

Here’s the good news: Once you’re aware of these issues, you can be sure to sidestep them. With that in mind, take care to avoid these four mistakes:

1. Arriving Super Early

I 100% understand the importance of leaving extra time. I also get the desire to be in a five-minute radius an hour early, just because it’ll help soothe your nerves.

What I don’t understand is deciding to walk up to the office and spend that extra time there, waiting.

Remember, your interview is a rehearsal where you’re showing off what you’d be like to work with. What would your future boss of colleagues think of someone who showed up and asked for attention an hour before every scheduled meeting? (Odds are they’d be working on something else, or not prepared yet, and slightly annoyed.)


Find a place nearby to wait and show up no more than 10 minutes early. (Your car is acceptable.)

2. Making Sure Every Answer Builds on Your Resume

It’s pretty logical to think that the person interviewing you would be familiar with your resume. After all, your prior experience factored into you landing this meeting in the first place.

You don’t want to bore the hiring manager and commit the faux pas of “regurgitating your resume,” so all of your answers start from the assumption that he knows your basic qualifications and wants to learn more.

Here’s the issue: While your interviewer may’ve reviewed your resume, he may’ve read 100 others for the position. He could also be in back-to-back interviews that day—or have just been pulled in and handed your file (it happens). So, when you take this approach, he spends most of the conversation slightly confused, meaning most of your answers won’t actually land.


Add context to your answers. Start with a line like “When I was a 4 Smart Moves You Didn’t Realize Sink Your Chances in an Interview at [company], where my main responsibility was [project]…”