The worst mistake you can make at a job interview is not to displease your interview with a non-standard answer to a question, answer a question badly or even make a social error.
The worst — and most common — interview mistake you can make is to be a forgettable applicant, and to leave the building without leaving any impression whatsoever on your interviewer.
Managers are busy. They are overloaded with information the same way we all are. If you don’t make your mark in your job interview, all traces of you will have left your manager’s memory before you get home.
How do you make an impression in a job interview? You have to be fully present. You can’t be in two places at the same time. If your mind is wandering — for instance, getting outside yourself and critiquing your interview “performance” — you won’t be present in the chair.
If you are outside yourself, playing the part of your own worst critic, you will manicure your answers to please the interviewer.
That’s the worst thing you can do. You might please the interviewer in the moment, but you won’t leave an impression on them by giving them exactly the answer they expected to hear — the one they have heard a hundred times before.
You might get a straight “A” by giving perfect, scripted answers if you were taking an oral exam in school, but you are not in school anymore. You are talking to a manager with problems. You have to get your manager off the script and get them talking about those problems!
Watch Diego get his hiring manager Noreen off the interview script:
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