Job interviews are hard enough without making a blunder or two to create an awkward situation. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, but messing up during a job interview can be devastating, especially when there’s a lot of competition for the opening.

Here are a few things that can create an awkward moment for you. Try hard to avoid them and give yourself a better chance for a job offer:

Criticizing your current or previous employer

Maybe you didn’t mean to bad-mouth your old boss, or maybe you did. Either way, it’s in poor taste, and you better stop and apologize because this is a major faux pas.

The hiring manager will not be impressed by your attempt to trash your former company or anyone with whom you worked. The thinking here is that once you’re working for them, it won’t be long before you are complaining about them. And no one wants to bring a chronic complainer on board.

Dropping an F-bomb (or any swear word) during the interview

You might think it’s okay to use foul language because it’s been universally accepted. It’s not ok, and it hasn’t been accepted! Even if you’re applying for an entry-level position, there is no place for “colorful” language during the interview.

If something unintended comes out, apologize for your slip of the tongue and quickly move on to something positive, like your achievements. Don’t let it derail the whole interview.

Forgetting to turn off your phone

Why did you feel the need to carry your phone to an interview in the first place? If you think you will need your phone, be sure to turn it off. If you forget and it rings during the interview, take it out and shut it off. Then apologize. Don’t answer it!

Failing to come up with the right word

It’s not unusual for your mind to go blank when you’re nervous. And it probably won’t hijack the interview if it happens. However, don’t make something up if you can’t come up with the name of something. Instead, admit you’re drawing a blank and keep the interview moving forward. That way the interviewer will focus on what you have to say and will forget about your brain cramp.

Being caught off-guard by a question

No matter how thoroughly you prepare for an interview, there will be a question that blindsides you. Don’t rush into answering it. Ask for a little time to think it over. Then, gather your thoughts and give the best answer you can. You’ll show you are taking the interview seriously by taking your time instead of just immediately blurting out an answer.

Do you need more interviewing tips?

We can help you. Contact Pro Resources for the light industrial or technical/professional position you’re hoping to find. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, so let us use our expertise to help you find your next job.