Career & Business

For Recent Graduates: 7 Ways Not To Fail At Your Next Interview

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Ever wondered why you didn’t pass your first or previous interview? If you hadn’t and you want to prepare for your next interview right at this moment, you will want to read this post.

When you came out of the room, you feel your mind and heart are blank.  It feels like you just came out of a coma. You thought you left everything on that room – your doubts, embarrassment, and fears but when you came home after the interview, you always ask yourself where you went wrong. You feel bothered by the interview. You know there were some actions we wish we could have done for that first or last job interview. You felt regret and discouraged to attend the job interview because you already know what will happen next.

While first or previous job interviews may suck, you can’t do anything about that anymore. As they say, what’s past is past! You might not be able to turn back the time, but you can avoid the things that you must never do. You can do the right things for the next interview. This time you will be ready for almost anything especially if it’s your first time in a job interview.

Let’s reminisce the good old days of your first or previous job interview. There are probably a ton of reasons why you failed your job interview but here are the seven common reasons why most of you as fresh graduates failed at your interviews. These reasons might shed some light on you and will help you nail your next interview.

7 Ways Not To Fail At Your Job Interview

Unsure or unable to answer the job interview questions

As someone fresh out of college who has no work experience especially interviews, the interview experience can either be a dream or a nightmare. Lucky are those who have special classes from their universities that help graduates answer job interview questions. The rest who never have heard about these classes, we’re on the same boat.

Even if you scour the internet looking for the answers to the job interview questions just so you can copy them, there is just too many interview questions for you to remember and memorize. If you are unsure or unable to answer the interview questions, all you need to do is come up with the right answers and practice before the big day.

Also, never ever copy the answers from the internet. The interviewers are not that stupid because they have already heard the same answers time and time that they already feel that they want to hang themselves or you. They want the answers coming from you and not the answers almost everyone always use.

How would you find the right answers?

You don’t.

The answer is YOU.

In order to be able to answer the job interview questions, you must do your homework. You must be able to know yourself by listing all your skills, qualifications and accomplishments then try ways to better explain your value to the interviewer. While you may find the answers by knowing about yourself, the interview may NOT be all about you. It also about them.

As fresh graduates, you tend to send out hundreds of resumes to different employers without even knowing who they are. Most of the interview questions talks about what you can do about them so before you send out a resume or even go to the next interview, you have learned about them.

Besides getting to know yourself, you also must know all about the company you are applying for by visiting their website and take a peak of what they do. Once you know all about yourself and the company, you will be able to know how to answer the job interview questions without ever having to stare or meditate with mantras like “ho-hum” for a couple of minutes to the interviewer’s face.

Remember the interview is never a one-way street.Click To Tweet

Poor Appearance and Manners

Interviews are like first dates. You must look your part too by getting the right interview dress and makeup. That is one way to show them that you value them even if you don’t. How you dress and look can say lots about you. Think about what impression you want to make. Always remember to make a good impression whether if it’s your first or second time with the interviewers by learning which interview dress to wear and how to dress and groom in a proper way.

Besides fixing your appearance, we can all agree that we like to invite anyone to our house who are kind and good-mannered. The same goes for interviewers who would like to interview and hire good-mannered applicants. Having good manners doesn’t mean you have to be too humble and kind like Mother Theresa.

You can greet the interviewers or receptionist when you first arrive at the room or ask them first if it’s alright to sit down. You can also be on time as that is the first step toward creating a great impression. Also, you don’t have to be a beautiful person when you apply to a job. Unless your country like mine has strict requirements for the candidate such as having a pleasing personality on a data-entry job. While I do believe that this personality means that you can interact with clients well, the jobs with this requirement are completely different in my country but this will be shared on another post.

Remember that even if no one is perfect, you must try to dress up and act with good manners. Think about it! Would you want to date someone who is too aggressive or possessive? Would you want to date who spits or picks their nose shamelessly everywhere in public?

Low self-esteem.

I am certain most people especially interviewers are drawn to people with self-confidence.  They want someone who can express their ideas even if they feel nervous during the interview. Even if you have a hurtful past or a recent tragic event in your life, it’s time to accept and move on. The more you dwell on the horrible experiences, the harder it is to break the shell. If you don’t like your appearance, it’s time to accept the way you look. Having low self-esteem can hinder your chances of landing any job. Interviewers want to hire people who are confident in themselves and their skills.

If you are the type of person who always let negative ideas on your head, it’s time to ditch those hateful thoughts about yourself and start giving permission to like yourself. Click To Tweet


We all feel this way during job interviews. We stumble words and show how tense we are in front of the interviewers. This will not likely go away immediately but you can overcome anxiety and nervousness especially if you know how to answer the job interviews while looking the part.

If you don’t want to feel nervous during the interview, always prepare your answers. You will want to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours, so you won’t feel exhausted during the job interview. According to HeathLine, sleep helps your memory. You will be able to focus on answering the job interview questions with less stress and nervousness.

Ability to sell oneself

This is not just for a sales job but almost all the jobs. Having the confidence to talk about what you can do for them is one step closer to winning the job interview. Besides having high self-esteem, good appearance and manners, you must showcase your skills and accomplishments to the interviewer. It does not have to be in a  job interview, but you can also show off your skills and work on your resume and portfolio. You must show or convince them about your value to the company if they will hire you.

Asking no questions

I don’t mean questions like where the bathroom or which room should you go for the interview but questions that you must ask the interviewers. These questions are what we call “follow-up” questions.

Asking these follow-up questions gives you certain details, not just about the position but also the person who held that position as well as the interviewer. The more questions you asked, the more you show interest to them.

I don’t also mean that you must have 100 questions or occupy an hour to ask questions to the interviewer but asking the right questions will show them how interested you are in the job and company. That’s one way to win a job interview!

Poor communication skills

You may have the skills and qualifications fit for the job but if you don’t know how to communicate or even initiate small talk, you will need to focus on your job interview.

A job interview is a two-way street which means both you and the interviewer must place the same amount of effort to communicate with each other. The interview is not all about answering job interview questions. The interview is more about having a conversation with them that you must match their style of conversation. If they are entertaining and informal, simply build a rapport with them. If they sound and act professionally during their interviews, act business-like and respond to the questions in a professional tone too.

This may be difficult for introverts like me but for you to develop good communication skills, you must have the courage to say things you want to say. If you really want to improve this skill, you also must practice mock interviews with someone either by phone or skype chat.

Hopefully, after you have read this post, you’ll be able to prepare yourself for your job interview. All I can say is you have to treat every job interview as if it were your last one. You must learn any mistakes from the interview and fix them before your next one. I know that you were rejected from your previous interview but don’t let it get to your head. If you have read and become fully aware of how you can avoid or overcome these seven ways, you will have a higher chance of winning the interview.

Besides these seven common possible reasons above, what do you think are the other reasons why you haven’t passed the job interviews? Start sharing your reasons and experiences in the comments section below. It’s completely free!

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Are You Ready For Your Next Interview?

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Eleanor W. is the publisher behind The Eleanor Journal, an online personal growth, finance, and lifestyle blog for young people to help them manage their finances, give direction their career and live their best lives.

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