Top 10 Job Interview Myths to Better Prepare You in Landing Your Dream Job

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on 04 06, 2022

This blog was originally published in October 2014. 

When you're going in for an interview, you'll probably have some preconceived notions about how the interview will go. Unfortunately, your perspective may be skewed by some of the most popular myths about interviewing that still persist today. Here are the top 10 myths about interviewing that you should dispel to better prepare yourself for landing your dream job.

Myth 1: Your resume will get you most of the way to landing a job.

Reality: Your resume simply opens the door. The way you answer interview questions, connect with potential colleagues, present yourself, and follow up after the interview all have much more bearing on whether you might get the job or not. Ensure your resume is professional and conveys your experience well, but it's important to avoid using it as a crutch during the interview process.

Myth 2: The interviewer is prepared for your interview and knows what they are doing.

Reality: Unfortunately, you have probably prepared much more for your interview than your interviewer has. The person interviewing you will likely rely much more on first impressions rather than the answers you've carefully crafted. This doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare — just don't be surprised if the interviewer doesn't have your resume handy. A good practice is to bring copies of your resume and relevant material (portfolio, cv, work examples, etc.) to the initial interview.

Myth 3: There are correct answers to the questions you're asked.

Reality: Interviewers ask questions to find out how you think and work, not to quiz you. They're interested in how you approach problems, how you interact with others, and whether you can tell a brief but informative story about your career. Answer the same way you would to a peer or co-worker, and then the interviewer will have a chance to see how you interact with others.

Myth 4: The most qualified person will get the job.

Reality: This is one of the biggest myths out there. There are many reasons why the most qualified person doesn't get the job:

  • They don't fit with company culture.
  • Their salary expectations are out of line.
  • They simply aren't what the company is looking for.

Don't worry if you're going up against someone more qualified than you — look for ways to show that you work well with others and are interested in training. While the interviewer will be looking for experience and qualifications, they will also be looking for someone who would fit with the team.

Myth 5: There's no way to prepare for an interview; just wing it, and you'll be fine.

Reality: This myth gets exposed pretty quickly. It's painfully obvious when someone hasn't prepared for an interview — they are dressed incorrectly, don't ask questions, seem surprised when asked about their resume, and so on. Before your job interview, talk to your recruiter about what you need to know about the company and learn the specifics of their culture. Additionally, do your own research on the company, and be ready to answer questions about yourself and why you would be a good fit for the job.

Myth 6: Ask about the salary early on to see if the interview is worth it.

Reality: It's true, you may be wasting your time in an interview because the company can't possibly match your salary expectations. However, there is no reason to ask about salary at the beginning of the interview — and many job consultants recommend not talking about it all during the initial interview process. If you fear that the salary may be too low for you, concentrate on knocking your interview out of the park — once they see what a valuable employee you could be, you might change some minds about the salary budget. Even if they don't, it's always good to practice your interviewing skills!

Myth 7: Leave your questions for the end.

Reality: There's always a spot at the end of the interview for you to ask questions, and no one wants to be caught tongue-tied at this point. But it makes a good impression if you can ask questions during the interview. Asking questions makes the interview feel more like a conversation between peers and demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm for the role and the company. You can save a question for the end if you want, but definitely ask questions as they come up during the interview. The more engaged you are during the interview, the more likely you'll be offered the job.

Myth 8: Give the interviewer as much information as you can.

Reality: As much as the interviewer wants to hear about what a strong worker you are, they are also looking for reasons to eliminate you from the pool. They are looking for red flags in your answers while you are talking, so answer the question quickly, without over-explaining your answer. Having concise answers will make it seem like you can confidently handle the job and convey that you are quick-thinking and self-reliant.

Myth 9: List your strengths whenever you can.

Reality: By all means, talk about what you excel in. But talk about them carefully! Instead of listing your strengths, showcase what you've done with them. Give specific examples of how you use your abilities to make things happen. Interviewers are interested in what you can do — not how you can describe yourself. A great way to highlight your strengths is by using the X-Y-Z formula on your resume. This common practice enables candidates to articulate their experiences in a particular format: "Accomplished X as measured by Y, by doing Z."

Myth 10: Thank-you notes are old-fashioned.

Reality: It's never a bad idea to follow up with the person you interviewed and thank them for their time. It's also an excellent time to add information about your background or extend an answer to a question that might have caught you off guard the first time around. Additionally, following up with a thank-you note or email keeps your name top of mind.

Need Help Landing Your Dream Job?

Knowing how to manage these interview myths will make you a better candidate. Talk to a recruiter at Infinity Consulting Solutions if you have any questions about debunking any job interview myths you might encounter. Or, if you're interested in our open careers, click here to view our job board.

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