The Biggest Interview Mistakes

Mallory O’Neil | Vector Marketing

Public speaking is the #1 fear in the world; it beats snakes, spiders, flying, and even death. A job interview could easily fall under the category of public speaking.

It is a nerve-racking experience that you never really quite feel prepared for. Here are a few common mistakes that can be easily prevented:

Being Late

“To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be forgotten.” – Elin Hilderbrand.

Being late is one of the oldest and more notorious mistakes in the interviewing process. It’s also becoming more and more unacceptable to be late since we have apps like Waze and Google Maps. Utilize technology and plan to be early so that if you do run into any unforeseen delays, you will be on time. The same goes for a virtual interview. Make sure that your Wi-Fi is working and you have all of the proper software downloaded in advance.

Having Your Cell Phone Out

A study by Penn State University showed that recruiters are more turned off by a candidate having their cell phone out during an interview than if the candidate has a lack of hygiene. Gross! By having your cell phone out during an interview, it sends the message of being disengaged. The recruiter assumes you have somewhere else that you would rather be.

Instead, keep your phone in a bag or in your pocket, and do not take it out until you are out of the building. Also, make sure to turn it off so there is no chance of an interruption. You don’t want a text from a friend to prevent you from landing a job.

Being Underdressed

You can never be overdressed in an interview. Think Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Step Brothers.

No matter what the position, always dress to impress in professional attire. Colleges and universities support this idea so much, many of them have created a department on campus for students to borrow interview attire.

Casual Demeanor

In addition to being too casual in your appearance, you can also be too casual in your demeanor. Whether you know the interviewer or not, always keep in mind that it is a professional setting, and how you conduct yourself needs to reflect that. Keep your body and verbal language proper and polite. And make eye contact to let the recruiter know you are engaged and confident in your interview.

Not Bringing Your Resume

Recruiters receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of resumes for one position. Do not make them riffle through all of their resumes to find yours. Bring multiple printed copies, ready to go for them. It also helps to print your resume on high quality paper versus standard copy paper. After all, it is the page that is meant to represent you and your value to a company.

Vector Marketing is a direct sales company that helps students improve on their career skills through their part-time work experience. For more information on how you can gain real world experience before graduation, visit

This article was written by Vector Marketing Campus Recruiting Manager, Vector East, Mallory O’Neil. Vector Marketing is a DECA National Advisory Board partner and Corporate Social Media Correspondent. You can follow Vector Marketing on Twitter @VectorMarketing.

Categories: Business, Career Advice, College & Career Advice, Industry Trends, Tips For Finding A Job