Interview Tips

Interview Weaknesses You Should Avoid

By: JobGet
Feb 13, 2021 • 6 min read

Interview Weaknesses You Should Avoid if You Want to Land a New Job! 

Interviews aren’t easy, and while it’s important to know your strengths, you should also be aware of your weaknesses. Understanding your weaknesses and how to work on them will better prepare you for your interview, and you’ll be more likely to land the position! In this article, we’ll share with you some interview weaknesses that you should be aware of, as well as ways you can avoid them.

Dressing Inappropriately

Whether you’re meeting your interviewer in-person or on a video call, you should look professional. Even if the situation doesn’t require you to wear a suit, you should still take pride in your appearance so that your interviewer knows that you are serious about the job. Look up the organization online and get a sense of what employees typically wear while on the job. If you are unsure, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Plan the night accordingly before so that you aren’t in a rush when your go-to interview pants are wrinkled or your shirt is missing a button. Right before you go on the interview, check your clothes quickly. Are your pockets sticking out? Is your shirt buttoned and tucked in? Dressing professionally will show that you understand the workplace dynamic and will fit in nicely with the rest of the employees.

Forgetting Your Manners

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by nervousness, especially during an interview! Sometimes, this leads to our manners being thrown out the door. If your interview is in-person, greet your interviewer while standing up, shake their hand firmly, and thank them for taking the time to talk with you. Get a sense of who they are. If they seem friendly, ask them how they are to build rapport prior to starting. Building a relationship with your interviewer will impress them, and they will be more likely to remember you after the interview. Try to establish a connection right off the bat!

silhouette of a person sitting in front of a laptop

Forgetting Hard Copies of Your Resume

Chances are, your interviewer will already have a copy of your resume. But just in case, you should always bring a few copies yourself! Rather than printing it out on basic computer paper, you might want to invest in special resume paper. This is a chance for you to stand out as a star applicant! While you don’t want to choose any fancy colors such as bright pink paper, you can opt for an off-white/cream color to help your resume stand out in a pile.

Not Making Eye Contact

In an interview, eye contact is significant. It builds trust, and it shows that you are interested and actively listening. It also demonstrates sincerity. If you’re looking all over the room when answering a question, your interviewer might question if you truly mean what you are saying, and they also might question your confidence! If this is something you struggle with, don’t worry—you’re not alone! Practice in a mirror or while talking with your friends. This doesn’t mean that you have to directly stare at the interviewer the entire time without blinking. It’s okay to break eye contact sometimes. If you’re asked a question, you can take a second to break eye contact as you think about your inquiry. This will help you to maintain a natural level of eye contact throughout the interview.

man and woman sitting in front of silver macbook

Talking Too Quickly

Many of us tend to talk quickly when we’re nervous, even if we don’t even realize it. If you talk too quickly during an interview, your mouth will be going faster than you can think! As a result, you might miss important points that you wanted to include in your answer. Your interviewer might sense this nervousness as not being prepared. To avoid this, take time to prepare prior to meeting with your potential employer. Do your research on the organization you are interviewing with! Practice your answers to common interview questions beforehand. This will help you build your confidence so that you can slow down.

A great tool to help you with this is recording yourself. While there are many great online resources to help you practice your interviewing skills, you can simply register yourself on your phone or computer and then play it back. And, remember to breathe! You don’t want to talk super slowly, but adding pauses in between sentences or points that you are making will slow you down when you start to speed up.

Using Filler Words

Words such as “like,” “um,” and “uh” should be avoided as much as possible on an interview. These are commonly referred to as “filler words.” They show the interviewer that you aren’t prepared or confident about what you are saying. You might use them a few times, and that’s okay! You should be focusing more on your response’s content. Just be cautious about overusing filler words when speaking. Taking the time to prepare ahead of your interview will eliminate the likelihood of these words getting thrown into your responses. If your interviewer throws a question at you that you are unsure of, take a few seconds to think about it. While you answer your question, pause for a moment if you lose track of what you said.

interview weaknesses

Up-talking

Up-talking is when there’s a rise in your tone of voice at the end of the sentence. It makes it seem like you are asking a question rather than responding. So, speak assertively and with conviction when you answer interview questions, and bring your tone of voice down when finishing a sentence. However, be careful not to sound monotone—an interview is more of a conversation than a lecture or presentation. You can still be animated when giving your answers. Just be careful to not go over the top!

Going on Tangents

Be precise in your answers, only focusing on key aspects that demonstrate why you are the best fit for the role. When we’re nervous or underprepared, we sometimes add unnecessary details. And, if you haven’t practiced answering interview questions, you will be more likely to go on a rant because you haven’t fine-tuned your response. When you’re preparing your answers, ask yourself if what you are about to say is crucial to the question. If the interviewer needs more clarity, they will ask you to elaborate. Depending on the question’s nature, you should spend about 30 to 60 seconds for a simple question and up to 2 minutes for more complex queries.

interview weaknesses

Not Knowing Your Resume

Whether you made your resume months ago or right before the interview, know it inside and out. Your interviewer will most likely ask you to elaborate on some of your experiences, or they might gear their questions to what you wrote on your resume. So, make sure you know which jobs and experiences you included on it!

Answering a Different Question Than What Was Asked

You won’t have the perfect answer to each question, and that’s okay. If you don’t know what to say, take a few seconds to think about it, and try to think outside the box if you’re stuck. Doing your research ahead of time and understanding what the company is looking for in candidates will make those tricky questions a lot easier to answer. The interviewer wants to know if you did your research to understand the organization prior to meeting with them.

interview weaknesses

Not Taking Notes

Bringing a notepad and pen to an interview is never a bad idea. This will show your interviewer that you actively listen and care about the job you are applying for. You might come up with some questions during the interview that you don’t want to forget, and these notes could also help you during the second round!

Forgetting to Listen

You should actively listen to show the interviewer that you care and understand essential information that will be important if you get the job or make it to the next round of interviews. Rather than interrupting your interviewer, try to save your questions for the end. You can also show that you are listening and paying attention by nodding occasionally. Don’t just sit there and stare at them, and make it clear that you aren’t just hearing what they are saying, but understanding it, too.

Sounding Arrogant

Being confident in any interview is important. You want to show your interviewer that you are capable of the job that you are applying for. However, you don’t want to sound cocky. Not only do interviewers want to hear about your skills and qualifications, but they also want to see if you will be a team player and willing to learn. Make sure that throughout your interview, you emphasize your eagerness to learn and collaborate with others.

interview weaknesses

Poor Body Language

One of the best ways to demonstrate interest in a job is through body language. Sit up tall, and avoid keeping your hands under the table. If you’re someone who fidgets a lot when you’re nervous, keep your hands folded on the table. If you have long hair, put it up to avoid being tempted to play with it.  When answering questions, use facial expressions—it’s okay to laugh and smile if it’s an appropriate time to do so! This will help establish trust and let the interviewer see you as a person, rather than just another candidate. Even if you aren’t completely sure of your answer to an interview question, confident body language will help you appear more sure of yourself.

Getting Distracted Easily

Even if you think you turned your phone, smartwatch, or anything else that makes noise, you should always double and then triple check. Show your interviewer that you are serious by giving them your undivided attention. Even if you think that they won’t hear your phone vibrating in your bag, it’s better to be extra vigilant and turn it off. Distractions aren’t always avoidable. There might be construction going outside the building, or you might hear background noise from other rooms. Try not to let yourself get distracted by this. And, if you do, don’t beat yourself up—just make sure to bring your attention back to the interviewer.

interview weaknesses

Expect The Unexpected

No interview goes perfectly as planned, and that’s okay! Each of us have our own weaknesses, it’s important to be aware of them so they can be avoided! Like maintaining eye contact and avoiding filler words, some of these can be practiced in your day-to-day routines. And remember, you are your most prominent critic, so don’t be too harsh on yourself. Work on your weaknesses slowly, and don’t forget to be proud of yourself for your strengths! As you go on more interviews and continue to practice, you’ll only get better—it just takes time. So, make sure to go to each interview prepared, remember to breathe, and trust yourself. You wouldn’t have gotten the interview if they weren’t already confident in your abilities!

Connect With Us!

What are some of your interview weaknesses, and how do you work on them? Let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear from you.

More to Read:

The Ultimate Tips for Your Next Interview

Basic Interview Questions You Should Prep For

Unwritten Interview Rules You Shouldn’t Forget.

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