Job interviews can be extremely nerve-wracking — that's no secret. There's just something about going into a room with a complete stranger (who somehow feels like the omnipotent arbiter of your future) and feeling like you have to prove yourself and your capacity in a limited amount of time.
Of course, job interviews are an opportunity for interviewees to demonstrate their capabilities and suitability for a position, but they also serve as a chance to develop rapport with hiring managers and prospective colleagues, learn more about company culture, and figure out if things are a good fit — for everyone involved.
Despite the fact that job interviews are, essentially, a mutual compatibility test, many interviewees psych themselves out and end up making avoidable mistakes, especially when they are just starting out in their careers. We've all been there at one point or another: Whether it's failing to properly prepare, not doing enough research about the company and interviewer, wearing the wrong outfit, or being in a spotty service area for a phone interview. The results can be cringeworthy.
This is why it's important to take steps to manage anxiety, fear, and nervousness before heading in (pro tip: always leave earlier than you think you have to — especially if you're taking public transportation). We chatted with eight professionals about their biggest job interview mistakes and the lessons they learned from them so that, hopefully, you won't end up making the same ones. Read on to learn more about others' unfortunate interview stories and take note of what to do differently next time you're in a job interview so you don't land in the hot seat.