Job Interview Mistakes That Will Really Hurt Your Chances Part 1

Sometimes you set up an interview and after it’s done you sit back and think – wow, that was a gold mine of information. That happened recently when I interviewed a Director of Sales for an entertainment company. I asked for a list of his biggest pet peeves when he conducts interviews, he gave me five that he sees almost daily. I then interviewed seven more hiring managers and asked them for their pet peeves.  Amazingly, they all had almost the same five responses.

We’re turning their points into a 5-part series, so buckle up and enjoy part 1:

Job Interview Mistakes That Can Haunt You Part 1 #entertainmentjobs Click To Tweet
Click here for part 2 of this 5-part series

Video Transcript for “Job Interview Mistakes That Will Really  Hurt Your Chances Part 1”

Brian Clapp, Director of Content: I interviewed a hiring manager recently responsible for hiring 20-30 people per year, now that is a lot of open positions. If they hired 20-30 people per year they are probably interviewing closer to 100-200 people per year, clearly this person knows their stuff. job interview mistakes

I asked them – what is your biggest pet peeve and what do you see to be the biggest job interview mistakes that comes across your desk. He gave me 5, so we are going to make this a 5-part series.

The first problem were going to talk about today is during the interview process, when the interviewee doesn’t ask follow up questions. That was one of this persons biggest pet peeves.

He said “there is no way in an interview I can handle and cover every single thing possible. So if the person across from me at the end when I say, ‘Do you have any questions for me’ has nothing – it tells me they are not fully engaged, they don’t know enough about the industry, they haven’t researched well enough about this position, and there is no way possible that they should have NO questions.”

So how do you fix this problem? You need to be prepared going into the interview with an outline of questions you are going to want to know and it shouldn’t be superficial things like:

  • How much vacation do I get?
  • What will my salary be?
  • or What’s your promotion schedule?

They need to be deeper and more in depth than that, they need to spark some conversation between you and the hiring manager, they need to show that you have researched and you understand this business.

Asking a question is your opportunity to show that you have done the legwork and that this job is important to you. This particular hiring manger looked right at me and said – “if somebody doesn’t have intelligent follow up questions, I’m not interested in them, because if they haven’t taken the time to care about this job…why should I care about them?”

Pretty powerful stuff – look forward to part 2 coming out next week!

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for &

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.


  1. Pamela Miller says:

    Yeah, you know what, Brian? People NEED to know the salary — and that is NOT superficial; it is ESSENTIAL to their existence. If a “hiring manager” (new euphemism) looks down their nose at a prospective employee for wondering if they’ll be able to make rent then THEY are wrong for their job. And let me tell you something else, Mr. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For: If I haven’t asked any “intelligent” followup questions it MAY be because the hiring manager explained the position in dull, uninteresting and “yeah, like, so anyway” terms which made everything easy to understand in the first place. I may have to excuse myself because I am of a generation that speaks well, spells well, punctuates sentences, has a long work history at jobs with good salaries and can’t even get an interview anymore because my resume is fucking intimidating to everyone under the age of 40. Intelligent questions? FIND someone who can ANSWER one, pal.

    • Pamela – thanks so much for your comments and while I am still 3 months under the age of 40 I am not intimidated and will take the time to answer you 😉 (BTW, I love the fact you called me “pal” at the end with a very, ‘I’d punch you in the face if you were next to me’ tone). To set the stage, the hiring manager I spoke with is probably around 48, and is very intelligent – he also has high expectations for his employees and hires, which as an employer myself I can respect. As for asking about salary, maybe I wasn’t clear enough, which can be a downfall of videos since I don’t script things out, I talk from my head and heart. Of course you can ask about salary, but that shouldn’t be the extent of your questions you have to bring more to the table. That is a fact, it’s not debatable. If you don’t ask more questions you are wasting an opportunity to show how in tune with the position you are, how well-researched you are and how important it is to you – and I guarantee if you don’t do it, someone else competing will and it will leave the hiring manager with a stronger and more lasting impression of their compatability with the business. Best of luck Pamela! – Brian

      • Brian, what you gave in your first video on the subject is very good intel, and I thank you for it. Unfortunately though, I’m not sure if you’ll ever cover it but, the fact that nepotism plays a huge roll in many desirable fields, tends to be a very daunting challenge. I’m not just talking about being hired because you are a family member or friend of the “interviewing manager”. I’m talking about holding membership(s) in certain “clubs and organizations”. If you happen not to be a member of someone’s college fraternity, then your challenge is a lot greater than your competitor whom is for the same job. Nevermind you being significantly more qualified. Politics in hiring, and on the job is very real. This is not limited to what political ideology you identify with; that being Republican, Democrat, etc. Yeah, we know discrimination while illegal still exist, what I’m talking about is deeper than “just discrimination” . Will you address this in the future?

        • I guess – but it’s not exactly something I can speak to with authority – I didn’t know anyone when I got hired at CNN, and I wasn’t in a fraternity, or even a member of any powerful clubs or organizations. In fact, even as my career grew I rebuffed all of these groups, conferences and events because I don’t like that part of the game. I got hired because I had specific skills that the organizations that hired me needed, that simple. To write anything different would be a lie. – Brian

    • Suzanne Possenti says:

      Pamela, I think your statement was either out of anger or you have a chip on your shoulder. After running 3 businesses simultaneously for 22 years and interviewing many prospects, I know for a fact that I did not cover everything during my interview process because it would’ve been a three day long interview. Unless you are applying for a job that requires one or two tasks/responsibilities, you want to know that the interviewee is interested in your company and wants to know what your company does and leave with as much information about the position and the company as possible which is done with follow-up questions. My thoughts are always keep your mind open to learn as much as you can every day to become a better person and to become a better employee or employer. Brian, I do appreciate your advice and respect your comments regarding interviews and what to do and what not to do, so thank you.

  2. Randi Simon-Serey says:

    Makes sense! Thank you!

  3. I think this series is super. Short and to the point. Helpful to those who may not understand why they are not being hired. This video allows people to understand what the hiring manger is thinking which is helpful. This video is great for any industry.
    Brian, thanks for sharing. Best of luck with your surgery. Praying you heal quickly.

    • Paulette, I really appreciate the kind words on the video series, we’re trying really hard to provide our audience tangible advice, things they can apply to their everyday and I am glad it is working for you. I tried to explain t someone the other day, so much of what I write or do videos on, are mistakes that I have made! I never try to come off as holier than thou or smarter than the rest of the crowd, I’m just someone who wants to share what they have learned from their years in the industry. I’m glad it’s helping! – Brian


  1. […] part 2 of our Job Interview Mistakes series we’re discussing cover letters and how people are messing up this seemingly easy […]

  2. […] been tackling a 5-part series covering some of the most common job interview mistakes people are making that are preventing them from getting the opportunity they have been waiting for. […]

  3. […] to create a 5-part series highlighting the errors that really frustrate hiring managers.Here are part 1 and part 2 if you missed […]

  4. […] Clapp, Director of Content: Transcript coming soon! Click here to watch part 1, part 2, part 3 and part […]

  5. […] explaining one last thing you should avoid no matter how tempting it is! Click here to watch part 1, part 2, part 3 and part […]

  6. […] it is easy for anyone to apply immediately. In this short video we have a simple, straight-forward piece of career advice that you can start using immediately. […]

  7. […] technique is wrought with problems and destined to fail […]

  8. […] are you have been inundated with opinions on updating your resume, how to handle a job interview, what internships you should take, what career you should pursue, what skills you need to […]