You’ve landed yourself an interview, congratulations! You’re one step closer to landing your dream job or internship. In a world things can go wrong at the drop of a hat, it’s important to be as prepared as possible for your impending interview. We’ve put together a guide to help you avoid fatal interview mistakes through the following recommendations.

Mistake # 1: Do Not Waste The First Seven Seconds  

According to StartUp Institute, first impressions are formed within the first seven seconds, so take advantage of the minimal time you have to impress your interviewer. To further build on creating a great first impression, whatever you do, do not arrive late. Timing is everything, and showing up late tells the interviewer that you think your time is more valuable than theirs. Secondly, do not under-dress. This is your chance to show the interviewer that you are a serious and professional individual. Jeans or a wrinkled shirt definitely will not convey that message.  


You should arrive to your interview at least 30 minutes in advance and enter the building 10 to 15 minutes prior to your interview time. This will give you a cushion in case you hit obstacles such as traffic. It will also give you time to go over your résumé or talking points prior to the interview. As for appropriate interview attire, iron your clothes the night before and research what is acceptable for you to wear to your interview. If you’re still unsure of what to wear, remember it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed for an interview.

Mistake # 2: Coming Off As Arrogant  

An interview is a time for you to put your best foot forward but going overboard can be detrimental to your getting hired. Avoid saying things like “I am perfect for this position,” even if you may be confident that you are. Another “no-no” is botching the “what are your weaknesses” question by telling the interviewer that you do not have any weaknesses. USNews says that this type of response shows the interviewer that you aren’t taking the interview seriously.


Speak truthfully about yourself and acknowledge that there are things you can improve on. Let the interviewer know that you are teachable and want to learn from the professionals at the company. 

Mistake # 3: Getting Too Personal  

When the interviewer asks, “Tell me about yourself,” they really don’t want to know everything about you. They want to learn about your career and educational accomplishments that tie into what makes you a great candidate for the job. Don’t tell them about your obsession with dogs or about your weekend activities. No matter how friendly the interviewer is, remember that you are in a professional situation — not a personal one!  

The Balance advises individuals to avoid talking poorly about past employers. In addition to this, keep in mind that you have limited time with the interviewer, so don’t over-talk. It is vital for you to stay focused on the company’s needs along with your academic and professional accomplishments, says USNews. 


If you find yourself getting off track, try to re-connect yourself to the position you are applying for and limit yourself to giving answers that are under a minute long. 

Mistake # 4: Not Being Prepared To Answer Or Ask Questions 

During your interview, you are going to be asked more than just the basics about what you’ve studied, where you’ve worked and when. For example, you might be asked to describe a time when you were in a difficult situation, but you shouldn’t answer by saying you’ve never been in one just because you can’t remember a time a difficult situation ended on a great note.  Typically, it is okay to ask the interviewer for examples of answers that have stood out to them. Not only does this allow you more time to think, but it also defines the types of answers the interviewer enjoys regarding the particular question.

Experts at The Balance believe that being able to positively describe a tough situation you’ve been in allows the interviewer to get a feel of your aptitude and fit for the job. When the interviewer is finished asking their questions, they are going to ask if you have any questions. The worst thing you can do is to not come prepared with questions to ask. Also, it is crucial that you do not ask a question that can be easily answered by viewing the company’s website as this shows you have not looked into the company you are interviewing for.


Prepare for your interview by reviewing what questions to expect based on the industry as well as the appropriate way to answer them. Also, familiarize yourself with the company’s website and services so that you are well versed in what solutions the company provides.

When it is your turn to inquire about the company, Monster believes that you should limit yourself to three thoughtful questions since the hiring manager’s time is limited. Monster also states that your last question should establish a personal connection. You can do this by asking something like, “I saw on LinkedIn that you have been with the company for five years. What has your experience been like?” or “What types of changes in trends have you noticed?”

NSCS already knows that you are a high achiever, now it’s your time to show the world. With these tips in mind, NSCS wishes you the best of luck in your next interview! 


­­­­­The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) is an honors organization, boasting 320 plus chapter nationwide, that recognizes high-achieving first-and second-year students.  With its three pillars of scholarship, leadership, and service, NSCS is proud to provide career and graduate school connections, leadership and service experiences, practical and skills-based content, access to discounts and savings, and over a million dollars in scholarships, chapter funds and awards annually.

To learn more about joining the NSCS honors society, visit us at

NSCS has 330 plus chapters nation-wide, is a 501c3 registered nonprofit, certified member of the ACHS, and is FERPA certified by AACRAO.