Jobseeker’s Diaries: Job interview Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned

By: Together Abroad 19-09-2018 1:36 PM
Categories: * Daily employment news, * Job Interview , * Jobseekers' Diaries,

In previous jobs, and now in my role as a content writer, I have made a lot of mistakes. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly during dozens of conducted job interviews, and I am consistently amazed at how basic the things are that usually go wrong.

My first job interview is one of those awkward events in life that keep me awake at night. I was eager to make a good impression, so I decided to go there at least 30 minutes in advance. It was not something unusual for me – I am well-known among my friends for always being too early for appointments. I found the building on time and quickly oriented myself to the waiting room. Little did I know that arriving too soon could be disruptive to the hiring manager’s schedule! She was clearly irritated, and this is where we got off the wrong foot. I did, however, do my “homework” for the company in advance, that is, I did my research and prepared for their questions. I kept repeating my scripted monologue over and over in my head while entering the interview room. She asked me if I would like a cup of water and I automatically started talking about my assets and what I could contribute to the company. I was anxious, and when I realized what it was that she actually asked me, I froze up.

This was the next mistake I made – I did not put things into perspective. Yes, it is difficult to maintain a sense of perspective when you are deeply upset with yourself. But it taught me that my emotional response should be proportional to the gaffe I make. There are exceptions to this rule; if you are a pilot or a surgeon, making such an error at work is most likely a life-or-death situation. Most mistakes, however, can be resolved or corrected right away. I had to learn this lesson over and over at my first workplace.

But simpler things also work me up. I have attached the wrong file to an email or forgot to attach one altogether. I have double-booked an important meeting and included a typo in an important email. I have emailed everyone; instead of CC them to keep them in the loop on my message to others. Yet, I am still alive. I now realise that I love what I do because nobody dies if I am not witty enough or did not use a catchy phrase in an article. I do my best, but ultimately, it is words on a screen.

Another crucial mistake I did was not to speak up when I was overloaded. I have always had the mind-set that it was good to be willing to perform a variety of tasks. However, what I did not acknowledge at the time is that I need to be able to recognize when I have taken on too much. I had important exams coming up and a tough course. In addition, I had my internship, I was participating in a university program, and I was also volunteering for several events. I told myself that all I needed was some stable organization and that I would eventually accomplish everything. In the end, not only did I not pass my exams, but I also did not deliver a good performance at my internship. This was how I knew where my limit was and it taught me not to be afraid to speak up and ask for prioritizing certain tasks over others.

When I reflect back on my first job, along with the heart-warming firsts (such as my first paycheck and savings), I also remember all those things I had to learn by messing them up the first time around. Looking back now, I know that what is important is to remember how far I have come. I also realise that everyone I had worked with has made mistakes and perhaps, even felt the same way. Here lies the ultimate lesson – one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to hide from them. If you cannot admit that something went wrong, there would be no learning curve. My advice is: be honest with yourself about where things got off course so you can keep moving forward.

Written by Nesrin Nazlieva for Together Abroad


This article is restricted. You have to be logged in to be able to add further reactions.

Linda is a professional with whom you’ll have the right click from the start. She is conscientious about delivering based on your expectations. With her guidance you’ll be able to look at yourself from a bird’s eye view and discover with precision what is most valuable from your past experience for your future career.

Zsuzsanna Keller-Süle

I would like to thank you for your great job to make my CV presentable and truly reflecting my knowledge and experience.
With your highly professional advices and support I felt more confident and eventually I got a job.

Tanya Pelser

Thank you for a great workshop this morning, it was refreshing to hear some really basic ideas for the Dutch employment search which I'm sure will help start everyone off on a new career path! I will definitely be using the services of Together Abroad and one of my first actions is to revise my CV and submit this for a review.

James Stopford