5 Reasons To Fail A Job Interview


Malika Remili is an international Career coach and the founder of Likacoaching, a Career-coaching platform specialised in supporting professionals and graduates in their international itineraries and objectives.

To fail a job interview is to receive a real confidence blow and in this game, confidence is everything. It can be really hard to pick yourself up after having a bad experience, so what's the answer? Make sure you don't make any of the following mistakes which make up the most common reasons people fail a job interview.

5 Reasons To Fail A Job Interview


1. Poor Preparation 

Poor preparation is an obvious killer and 75% of the interviews fail because the candidate didn't expect some of the questions asked… I think you will all agree that an unprepared person is easily noticeable whatever the situation…

So here’s the fact and this applies everywhere in the world:

Employers have done their homework to find you and so they expect you to do your homework on them too!! Given the number of applications they receive, you may want to consider yourself lucky to have obtained an interview and you ought to make the most out of this opportunity by preparing it carefully!

PRACTICE is absolutely key to acquiring CONFIDENCE, FLUIDITY and CLARITY


What do you need to do?

When you have an interview scheduled, you need to, not only prepare it, but also find a way to practice and rehearse with someone. You have to come to the interview with an idea of what they could ask you… and what you shouldn’t ask.

To give yourself as little chance of failing the job interview as possible, it’s best to rehearse with a proper Career coach who will give you self-marketing techniques and feedback to stand out and make the right impression. You can book a Skype session to work on your preparation or to have a mock interview, both available on Likacoaching.


2. Displaying a Negative Attitude 

Displaying a negative attitude is another way to prevent a second interview and diminish your chances of getting a job, one of the main 5 reasons to fail a job interview…

If you are going to complain and criticise everything…If you are going to say bad things about your previous boss or company…If you are going to be defensive, evasive or rough… well, you may as well cancel this interview!

My best advice is to remain positive and at all times. Before you criticise remember: YOU ARE NOT PERFECT… in fact, nobody is, but giving the impression that you think you're perfect is a sure way to fail a job interview. and so:


  • Don’t criticise; just state differences of views, cultures, practices or processes.
  • Don’t defend or justify; just explain.
  • Don’t pretend you know; just say: “I don’t know but I shall look for it…
  • Don’t look offended or embarrassed; just smile and use your humour to smooth out the atmosphere…
  • Don’t take things personally; this person doesn’t know you…

3. Lack of Enthusiasm 

A lack of enthusiasm can be spotted immediately through your body language, your eye contact and the tone of your voice… In fact, your handshake may tell it all…

Ask yourself “ why am I going to this interview?”. If the response is “I don’t really know”…. Then read the job description again carefully, visit their website and check Glassdoor for reviews on the company; if you still feel that this job is not what you really want, you can do two things:

Number 1: you can use this appointment to practice your interview skills in a live scenario.

Number 2: you can use this appointment for your  networking. Indeed, even if you are not selected for a particular role, you can still connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn, thank them for the interview and ‘follow’ their itinerary through LinkedIn. Many of my clients got their jobs via contacting people they had met in an interview situation.


Now, do you really want this job?

Then make sure you show it! Employers are looking for nothing less than passion! If you cannot convince the employer that you will be as passionate as they are, they won't place excessive trust in your long-term loyalty and staying power.


4. Vague and Dishonest Answers

Vague and Dishonest are common practice in an interview situation, and employers know it…

Employers can see right through coined and dishonest answers. So by all means, keep the conversation positive and constructive and don’t dwell on past failures or negative circumstances. Just follow these rules and you'll find it hard to fail a job interview:

  • For any failure, what was your learning?
  • For any weakness, what is your solution or remedy?

Always remember that the problem is not the problem but how you dealt with the problem...

5.  Lack of clarity

Lack of clarity is not only exhausting for an interviewer but it’s also frustrating and irritating.

If you are not very clear about what you are bringing to the table for a particular job, chances are you will never be clear enough to succeed in this role…


So what do you need to do?

Ask yourself “what can I bring to this company?” and make a list of all the assets you have: professional, personal, and educated…

Many people fail a job interview because they don't do their research. Read the job description carefully, list all the requirements and explain specifically how you meet those requirements. 


Jun 6, 2017 by Charlotte

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Great article! Really good information that most people should be aware, when they decide to move on it their career. Thanks for sharing!

posted 2 years ago by Hélder

long and useful, thanks:)

posted 2 years ago by Zübeyir

I would like to add that the attitude of " Knowing all " and not asking questions may add to the list.
I especially like the 3rd point.

posted 2 years ago by Bojan

Useful artcle. Thanks for the tips

posted 2 years ago by Rumyana

Great article, keep on the good work...

posted 2 years ago by Nikola

Good article. Resume all of it!

posted 2 years ago by Claudio

Thanks for sharing these information, very useful!

posted 2 years ago by Mirella

Useful, thank!

posted 2 years ago by Aleksandra

Preparedness is the obvious one, not only for an Interview but for life.

posted 2 years ago by Saurabh

Have not got any experience of being interviewed. For the last 3 months I receive only rejections. However, article can be used for the future.

posted 2 years ago by Aleksandra


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