5 Myths About Interviews You’ll Want to Stop Believing

There’s a lot of information about interview dos and don’ts. And while some pieces of advice are no-brainers (always making sure you do your interview prep work) some tips are based on nothing more than assumptions…assumptions that aren’t always true. Read on for five of the most popular interview myths—and why you should ignore them.

interview myths

Myth #1: Your Interviewer Is Completely Prepared

If you’re lucky, you’ll talk with someone who asks intelligent questions, is familiar with your resume, and who makes you feel instantly at ease. Alas, not everyone is so lucky. Whether they ask the dreaded, “Tell me about yourself,” or simply have no idea about your skills as a potential employee, some people just aren’t fully prepared. That’s why it’s vital that you have a rough idea of what you’ll say if the questions are broad or if the interviewer is clueless. Just because they’re fumbling doesn’t mean you have to.

Myth #2: Interview Questions Have Correct And Incorrect Answers

You’re not answering questions for a quiz at school; you’re providing information to potential employers about whether or not you’re a good fit for their company. Don’t worry about whether you’re giving the “right” answer, because there isn’t one—there are only honest and articulate answers that give insight into your skills and personality, and that’s what you should aim to provide. Take time before the interview to think about how you stand out from the crowd, and keep in mind that the correct response to an interview question is a genuine one.

Myth #3: Let The Interviewer Ask All The Questions

Remember, this is an interview—not an interrogation. You’re expected to have questions as well. That’s not to say you should be turning the conversation into your own interrogation—just make sure you’ve thought of some thoughtful questions—questions you actually want to know the answers to—and ask them over the course of the discussion. 

Myth #4: The Most Qualified Candidate Gets The Job Every Time

If that were actually the case, the interview process would be much easier. Flip through some resumes, pick the person that has the most experience, and voilà—candidate chosen. But the truth is, the interviewer isn’t just looking at experience. She’s looking for someone with the soft skills and personality to be a good fit for the company culture. Are you easy to work with? Will you stick around for a while? Do you have integrity and a good work ethic? The answers to these questions will often supersede whether you have specific (teachable) abilities. After all, you can learn those on the job. 

Myth #5: Thank-You Notes Are No Longer Required

Just because sending a thank-you card in the mail might seem old-fashioned doesn’t mean no “thank you” is needed. An email “thank you” is totally acceptable, and it’s a very important step in the process. Always thank the person you spoke to, and express your enthusiasm for the potential job. Trust us, they’ll appreciate—and remember—the effort.

Interviewing is a nerve-wracking process, but with some research and preparation, you can gain confidence and stand out from the crowd.

Search for your next job now:


Back to listing

The Washington Post Jobs Newsletter

Subscribe to the latest news about DC's jobs market