Five Mistakes That Can Cost You the Offer

Getting invited to interview for a job you really want is always exciting, but you still have a lot of work to do to prove you should be the last candidate standing.A job interview means you’re on the right track to receive an offer, but you’re not there yet, so you need to pull out all stops to sway the hiring manager’s opinion in your favor.


Interviewing for a job is a very nerve-wracking experience, and no one expects you to be perfect, but making any of these five monumental mistakes will likely eliminate you from the running.

Arriving Late

Simply put, barring a serious family emergency, there are no excuses for showing up late to a job interview. Prior to the day of your interview, take a trial run to the office to make sure you know how to get there and where to park. On the day of, allow plenty of extra time to get there, because you never know when you’ll hit unexpected traffic or experience car trouble. From the employer’s prospective, a job interview is when you’re supposed to put your best self forward, so if you can’t show up on time for this, you’re probably someone who is late for work every day.

Wearing Unprofessional Attire

First impressions are everything, so you need to dress in your finest professional attire for every job interview, regardless of the company dress code. This is a sign of respect to the hiring manager and it shows you’re very serious about the job. Try your interview outfit on as soon as you receive the invitation to make sure it’s clean and still fits. If not, you’ll have plenty of time to take it to the dry cleaner or go shopping for some new clothes.

Being Unprepared

Hiring managers expect you to walk into an interview ready to shine. This means you have a stack of resumes in your bag, you’ve spent serious time preparing responses to common interview questions, you’ve come up with a list of well-researched inquiries of your own to ask, and you have any other supporting materials you were asked to bring. In many situations, flying by the seat of your pants may work for you, but this definitely isn’t one of them. If you show up unprepared, you’ll give the impression you’re not really interested in the position, so don’t risk it.

Speaking Negatively of a Former Employer

Most professionals have a few negative work experiences in their past, but a job interview is not a time to discuss them. The hiring manager will likely ask a few questions about why you want to leave your current job as a test, so don’t fall for it. The assumption is, if you speak negatively about an employer in a job interview, you’ll eventually do the same about this company when you’re ready to move on, and no one wants to hire bad publicity.

Embellishing Your Experience

A job interview is definitely the time to really sell yourself, and while it can be tempting to embellish your skills or experience a bit, don’t do it. Prior to making a hiring decision, the interviewer will call your references, carefully review your resume, and conduct online searches for information about you, so you if you lie, you will get caught. Companies are often willing to train the right candidates if they don’t quite check all the boxes, but no one wants to hire someone who isn’t trustworthy.

Competition for highly coveted jobs is intense, so you have to present your very best self at all times. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

Tagged: , , , , ,