3 English job interview mistakes

1. You Feel Uneasy About Sharing That a Friend Referred You

I get it. Nepotism, right? Yuck. Nobody wants to feel like he got his foot in

the door just because he knows someone at the company. What’s worse

than getting a little help from a friend? Dancing around the answer, hoping

that you won’t have to fess up to the fact that not only is your future on the

line, your friend currently has a referral fee on the table for getting you an


What to Do Instead

I hate to sound so crass, but if you’re fortunate enough to know someone at

a company you want to work for, just buckle up and tell everyone who asks

you exactly how you found out about the job. A simple response like, “I was

excited to find out about the job from my friend who works in

[department]” is a perfectly OK response. In fact, it’s the only response you

should be given if this is the case.

Related: Secret to feel confident in any situation

2. You Turn it Into a Monologue

Here’s a perfect example of an interview question that only requires a short

answer. All you need to do is tell the hiring manager where you found the

darn job. But, all too often, candidates get so caught up in the moment that

they end up turning it into a long-winded explanation of not only where

they found the listing, but also why they couldn’t imagine working

anywhere else. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with being excited about an

opportunity, but when you’re going on and on about how you simply found

the gig, it can be a huge turn-off for a recruiter.

What to Do Instead

If you want to fold in a little that about why you’re so excited about the

job, that’s not a terrible idea. But, keep it short. Add your unique spin to a

response along the lines of, “I found it on [wherever you found the job],

and since I’ve been hoping to work for the company for a long time, I was

excited to see the opening had become available.” That’s all you need.


Related: Most important question in job interview

3. You Forgot Where You Found the job in the first place. Linkedin recruiter.

Job searches are undeniably frustrating at times. I’ve had stretches where I

had so many bills that I needed to pay, I applied for a lot of openings. And

after a while, it can be hard to keep track of what you’ve applied for, what

the positions call for, and where you found them in the first place. But

that’s no excuse for drawing a complete blank when a hiring manager asks

you how you stumbled onto the job that, let me remind you, that you are

currently interviewing for.

What to Do Instead

When I realized that I had applied for a lot of jobs during my last stretch of

unemployment, I made myself a simple Excel spreadsheet to keep track of

everything. It included the following columns: job title, link to the original

listing, the date I applied, where (or how) I found the opening, and the current

stage of the interview process. That list especially came in handy for phone

interviews, but regardless of how close I was (or wasn’t) to get any

particular job, I don’t know how I could’ve kept track of anything during

my job search without that spreadsheet. If you’re having trouble

remembering little details, like how you found a particular posting, cobble

together a tracker for yourself.

If there’s one lesson to be learned, it’s that no interview question is too

small to potentially mess up. And even the icebreakers can change the

the entire tone of a meeting with a hiring manager.

So cross your T’s, build

spreadsheets if you need to, and above anything else, answer the question

as thoroughly and quickly as possible so you can focus on telling the

interviewer more about why you’re the right fit for the job—rather than

boring details about where you found it.


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