6 Interview Mistakes By Job Applicants (Seekers)

Mistakes during interviews are commonly made by Jobs applicants of which some of these are avoidable. In this write-up, we’ll be looking at six interviews mistakes job seekers make with emphasis on Nigeria job market and how to avoid such mistakes.

Getting to the Place Of Interview too Early Or Too Late

A common mistake observe among applicants is lateness to interview venue. Lateness to the place of the interview can be for just a minute or two. Besides your curriculum vitae, the very first impression an employee get about you in person is damaged due to lateness.

Remember the first impression you give an interviewer about yourself can not be easily changed; just like the saying, ” first impression last longest.”

The job industry is very competitive and you can not take any detail for granted. It could hurt you in the selection process. In a situation, where five very qualified candidates are vying for a position there is room for the least important factor to be used for screening.

In some cases when you are not called back after an interview it is the reason. The devil is the details. The little things that may not count to you are huge deciding factors for recruiters if they can not find a reason to screen you out.

Ironically, coming too early to the place of an interview could have a negative effect on your chances too. Going to the place of interview thirty or more minutes earlier could disrupt the schedule of events on that day. Especially offices with small sitting space.

This causes inconveniences that may alter the mood of an employer which may not be good for the job seeker

Besides, it also creates an impression about your time management ability and how you value or makes use of time. It doesn’t look good to site in an interview venue idly beyond twenty minutes.

The best time to be at an interview venue is in the range of ten to fifteen minutes before the time of the interview. It gives you enough time to relax and get ready for the job interview. That’s usually the time they’re expecting.

Showing Lack Of Energy And Enthusiasm


Job applicant’s lack of energy and enthusiasm is a common interview mistake. Opportunity to attend an interview should invoke the feeling of interest, passion and enthusiasm on the part of a job applicant.

Surprisingly, this has been the other way for some job seeker. Some applicants have mistakenly allowed their inability to secure a job affect the disposition they exhibit during the interview. Learn more about how your body language affects the outcome of an interview here

Going to an interview venue looking lethargic and disinterested will only make the interviewer assumed you are not eager to get the work. This will further be interpreted to mean, you’ll not give your best if given the opportunity.

Regardless of the experience you may have had prior to arriving at the place of interviews, an interview venue is the least place to show any sign of it. Your lack of interest could reflect in the way you talk, your sitting position and many more. Showing lack of passion can be easily noticeable by an employer.

Interview venue should be one of the very first places to show your enthusiasm and excitement for having such an opportunity to be part of an organisation. Imagine going to your place of work for the first day?

How does it feel after years of trying to secure your dream job? You’ll surely be excited. That is the sort of positive spirit and energy you should have going to an interview venue.

The Mistake Of Not Asking Questions Or Asking Questions With Obvious Answers During Job Interviews

Asking a question in an interview creates an impression about you to the interviewer. It makes the recruiter realised he or she has been communicating with a job applicant that is genuinely interested in getting the job.

If asked properly it could mean the job seeker know about what is expected of him if he’s given the job.

Failure to ask a question if you don’t have one is not a minus. Although, it always important to take advantage of the opportunity to ask a question and sell yourself.

Sometimes some recruiters deliberately leave some grey areas that they expect obvious questions from in other to find out which interviewer is sharp enough and paying close attention to the topics that may have been raised in the process of discussing.

Often times, the desire to ask a question just for the sake of asking have made some job applicants in asking dumb questions or questions with obvious answers.

This is worse than not asking a question at all. Some job applicants even go ahead into asking a question whose answer has been discussed earlier in the cause of the interview. In fact, In most cases you lost points you may have won in the process of the interview.

Before asking a question, take your time, think through it and make sure it is a question that is worthwhile.

Richard McMune On Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Showing Lack Of Preparation During Interview

Preparation for an interview can take three categories.

Do Your Research About The Recruiting Firm

This is a common interview mistake by the most job seeker. Before setting out for an interview, do your research about the organisation you’re going to attend its interview.

Getting an in-depth information interview about a firm goes beyond knowing its main product and top executive. It is important to know other services or products that these firms do sell.

Endeavour to know as much as possible. Dig deep into the history of the company, how they have evolved over time, other products or services they sell, besides its major product, top executives.

Going to an interview without having an idea about the answer to these question may imply you have no idea about what will be expected of you if given the opportunity. Having this information is very important.

Work on Your Looks And Dress

Preparation for an interview also entails appearance and charisma. Job applicant should dress clean and corporate. In a competitive interview, the slightest mistake can cost you the job.

You dressing attract some points in your assessment. It’s a good opportunity to get all your points. Properly knot tie is a prerequisite especially in the absence of a suit.

Have An Idea of Questions To Expect

The last stage of your preparation is to get the likely questions you’ll be asked during an interview and try to reason out the answers you believe will be best to such questions.

There are practically no new interview questions. All questions you’ll be asked during your interview have been asked to someone else. See sample interview questions and the best possible answers for each.

Giving Wrong Answer To The Question Of Salary

The subject of salary and other job benefit is usually a sensitive subject for most job seekers. It becomes even a tough topic during an interview if the company doesn’t how they intend to compensate. The mindset of must job applicants is exercise caution in making their demand sit doesn’t cost them the chance of missing out on the job.

The best approach to follow in this situation is to carry out a little research, find out what the organisation pays for the position you are applying for or possibly what is obtainable in the industry.

You can have an idea of what industry pays using my salary scale.* In a situation where such information is not available in this platform or other similar platform, you may decide to find out popular job forum.

It is important not to undervalue your worth or overvalue your worth when discussing about compensation, neither of both will do you any good in your chances of getting hired. The best option remains to stay open, and give your salary expectation in range.

Mistake Of Speaking Ill Of Former Employers

A common mistake by among job applicants during interview is giving a bad impression of former employers. It doesn’t win you any favour instead will only significantly affect your chances of getting employed. A job seeker that could speak ill of his former employer will do the same for his or new employer.

Speaking ill of a former employer can ruin the reputation and cost them a fortune. Often times, employers go to several lengths trying to create and build a good reputation about their brand.

In fact, there have been cases where some disengaged employers were forced into signing undertaking that forbid them from speaking ill of them. This goes to portray the level of emphasis and importance that is placed on this.

The moment a recruiter sense this attribute from a job seeker, then the chances of the employer being picked is minimal. It is advisable if the need arises to speaker good of your former employer, praise them if though within you it is otherwise. If the attitude of gratitude is sensed in you about your former employer it could be a big plus to you.

In conclusion, these are the common mistakes that job seekers and applicants usually make in their quest for a job. Also, refer to our post on mistakes job seekers make to learn more.

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6 Mistakes Make By Job Seekers In Nigeria

Being a job seeker can be challenging, and ultimately frustrating if it lingers for a longer period than what you may have envisaged as a job seeker. Mistakes made by Nigerian job seekers are beyond the limit but we’ll touch as much as possible in this write-up and recommend the best possible ways to minimize these mistakes made by job seekers.

Below are some of the common mistakes that job seekers make.   

Job Seekers Mistake #1

Using a “Generic” Curriculum Vitae (Resume) and Cover Letters

This is not meant to encourage imputation of false information about you skills, qualifications and competence in your curriculum vitae, rather there are ways you can tweak your CV and cover letter to look closely relevant to what the recruiter seeks. Using similar words used in the job adverts and mentioning the name of the firm in your cover letter can make it look less generic. This will create an aura of uniqueness about the job seeker and form a sense of belonging towards the firm.

Job Seekers Mistake #2

Lack of Adequate Preparation For interviews

The first and simple prerequisite upon getting an interview invite is, reading up about the company that invites you, read as much as possible about it. Most job seekers make the mistake assuming they already know enough about a certain company without striving to have an in-depth knowledge of its vision, mission other main products of the firm besides its primary product.

 Ability to prove you know beyond the peripheral will make the recruiter aware that you have a genuine interest in the firm. This will prove you’re not merely seeking to be on their payroll. Going for an interview without knowing a company’s products, the top executives is a lost cause long before it began.

Job Seekers Mistake #3

Poor Body Language

Body language entails the conscious and unconscious movements and postures through which job seekers convey attitude and feelings. Body language is a huge part of human communications. The unconscious part of body language carries the real picture of who a person is.

Body language has a significant level of impact on the chances of scaling through an interview.

For instance, the look on a job seeker’s face after being asked a question may portray confusion, an indications lack of knowledge about a certain subject or poor concentration. The sitting posture of an individual may portray lack of enthusiasm or a sense of urgency. Lastly and most importantly, is lack of eye contact. Lack of eye contact in the process of communicating with an interviewer implies a lack of confidence.  This is a big turn off for most job interviewer.

A job seeker at the moment of entering the venue of an interview must demonstrate, alertness, consciousness and a sense of urgency. The interviewer should be able to see desire and hunger to get the job from the job seeker.

Desire and hunger should not be confused with desperation. While some job seekers are eager to get the job some are desperate. Desperation is rooted in despair and hopelessness if sense by an interviewer will lead to the rejection of a job seeker. As a job seeker give your best during the interview and be positive.

Job Seekers Mistake #4

Trying To Induce Favouritism

The idea that jobs in Nigerian are only gotten via connection has influenced many Nigerian job seekers into employing varying means to influence recruiters in the selection process. Owing to some selected mushroom firms, in 90 per cent of cases have only yielded negative results. Trying to influence an interviewer into picking you only creates an impression on how you will man the position you may be given. The only way you can influence a reputable firm is by giving your best in the selection and recruitment process.

Job seekers stand at a bigger risk of losing a position rather than having the said job if they try influencing the selection process.

Job Seekers Mistake #5

Depending Solely on Job Postings and Online Networking

Online networking like LinkedIn and job postings are the modern trends in the recruitment industry, firms pay for publicity of vacancies but the bitter truth is: job seekers on a daily basis do get a job besides these methods. The traditional method of getting jobs still works. Do not hide only behind android devices and computer only.

In fact, sometimes job postings work best for specific specialization that may be difficult to come by. Checking out on public job posting or newspaper publications is also worth part of your time. As a Jobseeker, you may decide to submit a hard copy of your curriculum vitae and cover later to some organisations that are in your field.

Often times, this sort of unsolicited application are given consideration first. Upon submission of unsolicited application, you must look out for publication of vacancies by these same organisations chances are you may still not be called after you have applied for the same advertised position until you submit online.

Besides building online networking, build public networking; never burn the bridge of your former place of work regardless of the manner at which you left the place. Most employer will seek reference from your former place of work before making the final call. Keeping a good reputation is key.

Job Seekers Mistake #6

Focusing So Much Or Less On Pay During Interviews

The first rule is, never bring up the issue of pay if we’ve not been asked question that pertains to it. Second rule is, never downplay the importance of salary during interview. As a job seeker, you must be ready to create the right balance between both as they both have effects on your chances of getting the job and how happy you’ll be in the job afterwards. Don’t appear too greedy as no firm will employ candidates that will not be satisfied with their pay neither will they employ candidate whose demand appear to be too lofty.

According to Monster, in arecent poll, many job applicants don’t negotiate salary and benefit for fear of rejection, over half of the applicant didn’t negotiate vacation time and almost half of the same regret such decision

The best approach to this part of an interview is to have an idea of how much the firm pays for that specific role or the industry standard for the said position. After having an idea of what the pay is, state your demand in a range rather than giving a specific figure as your

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