Common Mistakes - Things You Should Never Say or Do

A lot of web pages will give you a lot of common mistakes and a lot of do’s and don’ts. What we are going to give you are the most common and uncommon (not well known) do’s and don’ts. However, if you really DO NOT WANT THE JOB, review the OUTRAGEOUS MISTAKES in Section 3 below first.


  • Not asking for a tour of the facilities.
  • Not taking tests seriously.
  • Not filling out an application neatly and completely.
  • Arriving on time for an interview – ARRIVE EARLY!
  • Ordering alcohol and lobster or the most expensive item for a luncheon/dinner interview.
  • Not looking the interviewer in the eye.
  • Initiating conversation regarding benefits and/or salary.
  • Not asking pertinent questions.
  • Not asking for the job or determining the next step in the process.
  • Answering the interviewers’ questions with a simple YES or NO.
  • Not sending a follow-up letter.

Section II. UNCOMMON MISTAKES (Things you may have never heard of but you should definitely do.)

  • Handle previously asked questions (by different interviewers) with the same enthusiasm as the first time.
  • Take notes. It shows higher level of interest and professionalism. It also improves your listening skills.
  • Ask pointed, appropriate interviewing questions. Example: What are the consequences of this position not being filled? The answer will help you show them the value in hiring you.
  • Do not dismiss the importance of anyone in the company. You never know who has influence. Treat everyone with respect; from the worker in the parking lot to the receptionist at the front desk. (The V.P. may be filling in!)
  • Refer to the interviewer by name. Write down the names of everyone that you interviewed with.
  • Be prepared for the question, What are your strengths/weaknesses? Most people are not prepared for these questions.
  • You need to know the specific responsibilities of the position before you can sell your skills and talents.
  • Investigate a company thoroughly. Understand and empathize where a company is coming from. Our president says, “Seek to first understand where others are coming from.”
  • Formulate your follow-up letter while all details are still fresh in your mind.


  • Order lobster and Dom Perignon for your luncheon interview.
  • Bring a friend to the interview.
  • Take your shoes off and put your feet up on the interviewers’ desk.
  • Chew gum like a cow.
  • Insult the secretary/receptionist.
  • Make several typographical errors on your follow-up letter.
  • Suggest some major changes in the company’s benefit package.
  • Come to the interview in the clothes you slept in the night before.
  • Keep saying…huh?
  • Lie on your resume