11 Costly Blunders to Avoid in a Job Interview

Performing your best during a job interview includes practicing what you want to say and how to say it. You want to demonstrate your skill set and top accomplishments in a confident, personable way. Avoid diminishing your abilities and downplaying your success by avoiding these costly missteps.

  1. When scheduling your interview, make sure you can fulfill your commitment to be at the interview at the designated time and arrive a few minutes early.
  2. Make sure to dress your best (even if the company has a casual dress code), leave your phone in the car, dispose of the gum and don’t drink coffee during the interview.
  3. Don’t write “see resume” when completing an employment application.
  4. Don’t ask about working from home or what the benefits will be during the initial stages of the interview process.
  5. Keep answers relevant and to the point. Don’t be long-winded.  If you do all the talking, the interviewer will not be able to determine your ability to do the job by asking key questions.
  6. Listen! Don’t answer a different question than the one they actually ask you.
  7. Don’t talk over the interviewer.
  8. Have questions ready to ask about the company based upon the research you have done.
  9. Do not complain about your previous employer.
  10. If you are interested in the position, let the interviewer know you are interested and what the next steps will be in the interview process.
  11. Don’t write a thank you note to the interviewer while still on the job interview! Wait until after the interview and send a thank you note to express your interest in the position and to thank them for the interview.

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5 Buzzwords You Should Incorporate into Your Interview

The words you use during an interview convey an impression of you and your abilities. You want that impression to show you are the most qualified candidate and should be offered the job. Be sure to incorporate these five buzzwords into your next interview.

1. Responsibility

Mention a few key responsibilities you held that are essential to the role. Share stories of how you contributed to other employers and helped them move forward. Mention specific examples of your knowledge, work ethic, and accomplishments that will transfer to your next position. Use the responsibilities listed in the job posting as a basis for your answer. Include statistics in your answer. For example, “I understand customer service is a key part of this role. I spent three years working in a high-volume call center, answering customer calls and finding solutions. I am adept at deescalating situations and making customers happy.”

2. Passion

Demonstrate why you are passionate about the position. The interviewer wants to know you will come to work each day because you care about what you do, and will perform beyond your job description. Mention specific reasons you are excited about the role. Perhaps you enjoyed performing those tasks in the past, enjoy thinking about how your work will affect your target audience, or how you can improve your skills. Maybe you see things through to completion and finish your work on time. For example, you reorganized a presentation at the last minute because the client changed their direction. Or, you still finished a project when the office computers were down.

3. Leadership

Discuss your greatest examples of leadership. Talk about how you led teams and projects and took ownership of your results and accomplishments. For example, show how you encourage top employee performance through recognition and rewards and assigning new responsibilities for professional growth. Mention how you delegate responsibilities to enhance employee skills and increase value to the organization. Discuss how you openly give and receive constructive feedback so individual and team performance improve.


Provide examples of how you collaborate with teammates. Working in teams promotes innovation by sharing and developing ideas to move the organization forward. The interviewer will be especially impressed if you collaborated with employees in another department. For example, mention how you ensure everyone understands their role in completing a project and what the timeline is for each task. And, discuss how you stay on task and help others follow suit. Plus, share how you ask for help and assist your teammates when needed.

5. Results

Explain the measurable results you achieved that relate to the position. The interviewer wants to see specifically how you benefitted a previous employer, and how you may benefit your next one. Provide statistics with your answer. For instance, “I increased sales by 25 percent in three months.”

Set Up an Interview With Casey Accounting and Finance

For help with finding your next role, set up an interview with Casey Accounting and Finance! Contact our top Chicago recruiters today.