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Career News | Sept. 12, 2023

How 10 Tips on What Not to do During an Interview

By DCAA Staff Writer

Congratulations, you were invited to interview for a DCAA position.  Now is the time to prepare so you can ace the interview. We polled our supervisors and human resource staff to create this list of 10 most common mistakes they have seen candidates make in preparing for or during an interview.

1. Not knowing what position you are interviewing for. You may have applied to several companies in your job search. Be sure to reread the job announcement to be sure you understand what the position requires.

2. Not learning about DCAA before your interview. Learn some basics about the organization. Our website is a great place to gain this basic knowledge. 

3. Not rehearsing your personal elevator speech. One of the most common interview questions is “tell us about yourself.” Get ready by practicing your answer and focus on highlighting your key strengths as they relate to the position.

4. Not taking time before answering a question. It is common to speak more quickly when you are nervous. Take some time before you answer to formulate your response. Then speak slowly and clearly and give a concise response.

5. Not asking questions. Employers want to see you’re interested and want to learn about the position and company.  As you think of question, do your best to frame them in a manner that does not focus on yourself. For example, "can you tell me about the workplace flexibilities offered” instead of “is this a remote position.” 

6. Do not discuss non-job related topics. While sports or family activities are good topics to discuss once you have the job and are getting to know your coworkers, keep in mind the interview is focused on your skills as they relate to the position.

7.  Do not speak negatively about your current employer. It is unprofessional and can appear as if you are not a team player and do not take ownership of your actions.

8. Not testing the meeting link beforehand and decluttering what will be in your background during the call. We have all learned technology can present challenges so a quick check to be sure you understand how to navigate the software is recommended. It is also a good practice to look at what will be your background during the call and make it as professional looking as possible.

9. Do not have gum or candy in your mouth, even for a virtual or phone interview. Both garble your speech and it is unprofessional.

10. Do not wear strong perfume, cologne or lotions to an in person interview. Some people are sensitive to strong scents and can also have allergies.

Our website has several other article to help you prepare for your interview including “Smart Questions for Your DCAA Interview” and “5 Tips to Impress in the Interview.”

Good Luck!