11 Worst Job Interview Mistakes

February 21, 2023

You’ve prepared for your interview. You’ve made sure that you’re ready for the common interview questions that will come your way.

If you’ve done this, then you’re halfway there on your way to a new position. However, you can secure your victory by avoiding common job interview mistakes! They’re easy potential banana skins that could have an effect on the impression you leave your interviewer with.

We asked recruiters, hiring managers and career coaches in Singapore about the most horrifying job interview mistakes that have tripped up candidates – so close to the finish line, too.

We’re sharing these common interview mistakes here, because we don’t want you to make them!

The absolute worst job interview mistakes are;

  1. Sharing inappropriate information
  2. Not willing to accept or admit your blind spots
  3. Telling interviewers why you cannot commit to a role
  4. Adopting a Factory Mill Approach
  5. Acting Entitled
  6. Dressing like Mark Zuckerberg
  7. Being late for interview
  8. Going in one big circle
  9. Having no questions
  10. Doing zero research
  11. Saying “I Don’t Know”

If you follow these main points, you can ensure that you don’t have any issues during your interview. Let’s look at these common interview mistakes a little closer.

1. Sharing Inappropriate Information

If you’ve left your previous job due to a bad experience, there’s no need to share this with recruiters or interviewers.

Doing so might even reflect poorly on you, and there’s nothing to gain from talking about your previous employers in a negative light.

P.S. Special thanks to former e2i career coaches for their insights below. If you don’t know it yet, e2i was set up by NTUC to provide career guidance to Singaporeans, assist in developing their skills and helps to match them to job opportunities across a variety of industries. You can approach e2i for advice on how to get better jobs and better pay.

2. Not Willing to Accept or Admit Your Blind Spots

“There was a woman who constantly kept telling me that the interview went well and that there cannot be anything wrong with her,” the recruiter shared.

Some job seekers refused to acknowledge their flaws, even after being turned down from many interviews.

They were unwilling to adapt or recognise their weaknesses.

When finding jobs, be open to accepting constructive feedback. Acknowledge areas you can improve on.

3. Informing Interviewers Why You Cannot Commit to a Role

Remember, you’re supposed to present your best self during an interview!

Stating too many expectations during the interview affects your chances of even being hired.

When you directly tell interviewers why you cannot commit to a role, it shows your inflexibility and reflects poorly on you.

4. Adopting a ‘Factory Mill’ Approach

Many jobseekers think all interviews are the same.

So they use the same method for every interview – a ‘Factory Mill’, production-line approach.

They don’t bother preparing for every one.

Don’t make that mistake. Every interview is different, especially late-round interviews.

You need to prepare meticulously for each one.

ResumeWriter Tip: Need more strategies and help to prepare for interviews? Check out our guide on how to answer the most common interview questions.

It’s okay to talk about your personal life and give personal details if the interviewer asks, as this can help to separate you from the rest.

5. Acting Entitled

I had a candidate who asked for a ridiculous salary – despite having no prior experience – just because they are willing to learn.

Another one insisted on setting an appointment at a later time in the day because they wanted to go to their grandma’s house after the interview.

Naturally, these candidates never got a shot at interviewing.

Leave your pride and ego at the door when coming for an interview.

You’ll win me over by showing your passion and curiosity for the role.

6. Dressing like Mark Zuckerberg

An interviewee turned up wearing a very casual T-shirt and jeans for an executive role.

Of course, he did not land the role. Dressing inappropriately is a cardinal sin for interviews.

Your attire sets the first impression. Dress appropriately when attending an interview, and even if you’re taking part in virtual interviews, it can be a good idea to put a shirt on.

Unsure of the dress code?

Dressing smart casual is always a safe bet – professional yet comfortable.

7. Disrespecting the Interviewer

Candidates show a lack of respect for their interviewer through various ways, including:

  • Being late for the interview
  • Demanding to change the time/place of the interview
  • Asking if they must work from such a far location, then whining about it

This isn’t always intentional, but these are pretty easy things to avoid if you want to leave your interviewer with a positive impression

8. Going Around in One Big Circle

Some candidates tend to ramble in interviews.

When asked a question, they break into a long story but never answer the question.

Don’t be that candidate!

Get straight to the point and answer the interviewer’s questions.

ResumeWriter Tip: Need more strategies and help to prepare for interviews? Check out our guide on how to answer the most common interview questions.

9. Having No Questions

From my experience as hiring manager, one of the worst mistakes is to say “No” when I ask if you have any questions to ask me.

This implies two things:

  1. The candidate did not do any research for the job
  2. The candidate is not very interested in the role

Always do your research and prepare for an interview beforehand

Think of questions to ask the interviewer at the end. You MUST ask questions at the end.

It shows your commitment and enthusiasm for the role.

10. Doing Zero Research

This is the WORST mistake you can make when preparing for interviews.

Don’t go for the interview with no knowledge about the company!

Do your research on the company before the interview, the position you’re applying for, and tailor your preparation for the role.

11. Saying “I Don’t Know”

Saying “I don’t know” is a big pet peeve of mine, especially in the age of Google.

I always pose a challenging question and the ones I look for are the ones who say “I’m not sure, but I can certainly look it up or ask around and get back to you”. That shows initiative.

So avoid saying these three words in an interview.

If you really are unsure, be honest! Acknowledge your uncertainty, then follow up with the desire to circle back.


Being well-prepared for an interview is just half the battle won.

Lock in that victory by avoiding these interview mistakes.

You’re so close to nailing the job of your dreams.

Don’t trip up now!

If you haven’t yet, check out these other interview-related articles:

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Harry Suresh
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