Common Interview Mistakes that can Cost You The Job

Posted On April 3, 2013

Whether you’re having a phone interview or a face-to-face, it’s difficult not to fall into typical interview traps that can cost you that travel nursing job. We’re all humans after all. However, if you don’t even know what these traps are, then you’re more likely to commit them.

Here are some mistakes that must be avoided for a smoother, more successful interview:

1. Being ill at ease during the interview

Being interviewed can be tough. Most applicants go to an interview expecting to get taken into an interrogation room in order to confess to some past work-related crime. This is an exaggeration but you get the point. The difference between an interrogation and an interview is that an interrogation is a one-way conversation in which one party asks questions and the other party (that’s you) answers.

Bear in mind that interviews aren’t supposed to be like that at all. It’s supposed to be a give-and-take relationship in which information is exchanged between two parties. Same principle when you’re being interviewed on the phone for a travel nursing position. You have as much right to ask questions as the interviewer in order to learn more about the company. As the applicant, it’s also your job to find out whether you’re good fit to the facility and whether you would want to work there.

That said, don’t treat the interview like it’s a regular conversation. You still have to be polite and professional at all times.

2. Failing to ask questions

You know it’s coming. At the end of every interview, the interviewer would ask if you have any questions. Be prepared and ask a question or two. Not having any questions might be misconstrued as disinterest in the position and that you’re not prepared for the interview.

Interviewers are looking to be impressed by the questions you ask. It’s also a cue for them to start selling the facility and location to you. If you can’t think of any questions to ask, ask the interviewer how he or she likes working for the facility. Ask the interviewer what to expect while living in that particular destination for the duration of the assignment.

3. Answering the question “What are your weaknesses” incorrectly

The question, “What are your weaknesses” is an old tune favorite among interviewers and for a reason. To answer such a question with obvious clichés like “I’m a perfectionist” or “I work too hard that I don’t have time for myself” can hurt you. Maybe back when it was first asked, back in the stone ages, such answers would have impressed the interviewer but the interviewers of today have heard it all.

So how does one answer the question? Easy. Tell the interviewer your weaknesses. Rather, indicate a skill that you lack or want to improve. Interviewers typically ask this question to find out if there are areas that they might be able to help you enhance if you join the facility so don’t be afraid to answer honestly.

4. Forgetting to turn off your cellphone

This is self-explanatory and obvious. And yet many applicants still commit this interview faux pas. It must be the need to always be online that today’s society suffers from.

Nothing annoys interviewers more than cellphones ringing during an interview. During your phone interview, you can almost get away with keeping your phone in silent mode. Almost. Be sure not to peek at it every time someone sends you a text message. Such distractions could be disastrous especially when you fail to catch what the interviewer is saying or asking. It would be best to just not have your phone in your vicinity while the interview is going on.

5. Failing to send a thank-you letter

Sending a letter after the interview reinforces your interest in the job and shows your enthusiasm. A simple email stating that you enjoyed and appreciate the opportunity to talk to the interviewer (whether by phone or face-to-face) would be sufficient. Still not convinced that you should send a thank-you letter? Here’s a more in-depth discussion of the reasons why you should.