Top 5 interview mistakes that could cost you the job offer

Reed Scientific has shared with us their Linkedin article with their tips and advice on how to avoid making these mistakes.


An interview is a conversation between you and an employer and an opportunity for both parties to find out if they are suited to each other. The employer will try and find out as much information as possible to see if you are suitable for the job and will fit in with the team. From your side, you will gather information to help you decide if the opportunity is right for you whilst selling your skills, experience and personality to help secure a job offer.

There are lots of tips & advice we can give to help you achieve these goals; researching the company, the interviewers, preparing answers for the most common questions etc. However, in this article, we would like to highlight the top mistakes candidates are making that are potentially costing them the offer.

1.     Applying for any job and not showing a genuine interest in the one they are interviewing for

The most common negative feedback we receive from clients is that they didn’t feel the candidate was interested specifically in their job or their company. During the interview you need to be able to demonstrate that you are not just interested in any job but that you want this one and that you can tell them the reasons why!

2.     Being too laid back or seeming uninterested

Interviewers will be considering how you would fit in with the team. It is important that you appear natural and comfortable but avoid appearing “too laid back or uninterested” as this is a concern to clients. So aim to be enthusiastic and engaging whilst always keeping in mind that you need to present yourself in a professional manner and act as you would in the workplace.

3.     Complaining about current or previous employers

Always avoid bringing negativity into an interview room. No complaining, no rants. Remember that the scientific community is well connected. You may risk complaining about the interviewer’s best friend or one of the company’s client or collaborator. Complaining about your employer may also make the interviewer wonder what you would say about them.

4.     Missing the opportunity to highlight your skills & experience

To know if you have the skills required for the job, the interviewer needs to hear about specific examples with proven results. By being vague or giving general answers, you are missing the chance to show what you can do and creating doubt in the interviewer’s mind. Prepare examples beforehand for every required skill listed in the job description and use the STAR approach when answering questions.

5.     Not showing long term commitment

Hiring and training someone cost time and money. An employer doesn’t want a newly hired employee to leave after a few months. A common mistake is for a candidate to reveal too much about their future plans. You may wish to take a year off to travel or go back to university after gaining work experience or even need to relocate in the near future for family reasons. All these sentences could raise red flags in an interviewer’s mind and make them question your long term commitment to the company.

In summary, an interview can be a stressful time and preparation is key to success. However, always keep in mind that if you have reached the interview stage it means the employer already feels positively about your application. Build upon that; prove your skills with examples, show your interest in a long term career with the company and leave the room with a smile on your face.

At Reed Scientific, we help all our candidates prepare for their interviews. If your interview is coming up and you have any questions, do not hesitate to give your consultant a call. Find our contact details on the following link:



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