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10 Typical Interview Mistakes. Leverage Them to Land Your Dream Job!

By June 17, 2024No Comments

There is a surge of excitement, and yes even a healthy bit of panic, when you’ve completed your college courses in Toronto and are looking to land a job in the big city.

After all your hard work, you’re on the home stretch. The last thing you want to do is botch the interview. While that seems unlikely, as you’re so excited, learning from the pitfalls of others can mean the difference between a stellar impression and one that leaves them selecting the next candidate.

Knowledge is power. And so, this post is to make you aware of the seemingly harmless mistakes other interviewees have made so you can avoid them, use them, and present the best version of you and gain that competitive edge.

10 Typical Interview Mistakes and How to Leverage Them to Ace the Process!


1. Being Frazzled and Late

The professional interviewing you knows that this is possibly the best they’ll ever get you. If you don’t put your best foot forward on the day you’re trying to land the position, where does it all go from there? If you look dishevelled, if you arrive even one minute late, look like you’re disorganized, are beside yourself with anxiety, you’re setting the tone for what you’ll be like on the job.

Put your best foot forward. Arrive early so you can breathe and ease into the interview process with confidence.

2. Arriving Unprepared

You’re being tested on your ability to be engaged, to care, to show them that this is the job you want more than any other. If you don’t prep, know nothing about the company and their vision and goals, then you’re demonstrating that you aren’t passionate about what they’re offering you.

Do your research. Know the company values, projects, people and align your tone and answers to the brand image and vision they hold.

3. Attire is Unprofessional

If you don’t consider the importance of appearance and arrive dressed in a way that doesn’t reflect the position you’ll be in, they won’t be able to see you in it. What you wear will depend on the job you’re applying for, so consider the role and then realize it’s better to over dress than under dress.

Consider the role and responsibilities and if in doubt of attire turn to your instructors for input, they will know what to recommend. Don’t guess, ask.

4. Misalignment of Resume Facts with Presentation

Practice, practice, practice. If you show up and what you share is disconnected from what you’ve presented on paper, they’ll wonder if they’ve got the right person.

Take the time to review the details of your resume and make them relevant when you present your experience.

5. Disconnect Between Body Language and Expression

Your physical responses reveal more than you know. If you slouch, you seem disengaged. If you role your eyes at a question, your resistance or inflexibility shows. If you’re nervous and avoid eye contact, you seem disconnected.

Match your body language with the enthusiasm you feel and practice until you nail it in the mirror at home. This is a learning curve but one worth taking.

6. Talking More Than Listening

You don’t want to miss a cue in an interview. If, in your nervousness, you drone on and on and aren’t listening, you’ll miss the opportunity to adapt your answers to what’s being asked, and your potential employer will take this as a sign you don’t know how to listen effectively.

Take your time. Listen attentively. Use a pause to gather your thoughts and then you’ll be able to effectively answer in a way that represents your skills and how they directly apply to what’s being asked.

7. Griping About Past Experience and People

This will end your opportunity before it’s begun. You can have had negative experiences, but if you’re not presenting how you learned from them and positively, genuinely relaying the information you will come off as a complainer and no one wants to hire one of those.

Practice reviewing the past experiences that have challenged you to grow. Genuinely reflect on the learning and bring that to the fore in your interview.

8. Forgetting Your Leave Behind

Coming without anything to leave them with shows that you don’t value the resume you took the time to create. While they most likely will have one printed off, you don’t want to assume.

Print your resume on professional paper stock and bring a few copies in case there are multiple interviewers. This shows you’re prepared and proud of your experience.

9. Coming Questionless

If you have no questions for them, as strange as it may seem, it creates the impression that you haven’t considered the company or position personally.

Create a list of questions in advance, about the company, its history, the culture of the company, the vision they have for the future, their take on training or opportunities for upward mobility. Whatever it is, be prepared.

10. Failing to Follow Up

Not sending a thank you, following up on the opportunity they gave you to interview, and making the personal connection between yourself and the interviewers, has you missing a chance to solidify you as a candidate in their minds.

Send a thank you directly following, add in personal details of what you spoke about, make a connection that leaves them wishing you were on their team.

Leveraging the mistakes made by others offers you the competitive advantage. With so many Toronto colleges and private colleges in Ontario and graduates entering the workforce in droves, you must prepare yourself to stand out. These tips should give you insight and an advantage.

If you’re a recent Anderson College graduate, remember that our career services team is here to help – from resume, cover letters and the job search to interview techniques – and these services are available to you for life! Your success is our success.

If you’re in the throes of exploring college in Toronto, and looking to align your interests with a program? Take our Career Discovery Quiz.

But if you’re ready to take your life and career to new levels, are looking for a supportive team to help you get there and a roster of options, check out our 30 leading-edge programs and book a virtual appointment with one of our Admissions Advisors today.

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