The biggest job interview mistakes

Photo courtesy Flickr user Gangplank HQ

(MoneyWatch) The job interview is the gold ring at the end of the rainbow, to mix a few metaphors. It's when the hard work of writing and sending resumes, then conducting phone interview after phone interview finally pays off. All that's left is to turn your day with HR and the hiring manager into an actual job offer.

Tech blog Lifehacker recently interviewed HR pros to find out about the biggest interview mistakes they've seen. Their feedback is instructive -- be sure to check out what they have to say and keep it in mind the next time you head off for a job interview.

Interviewees who don't know when to shut up. Be careful not to talk over your interviewer or leave space for him or her to respond. A huge mistake is to talk too much and not demonstrate that you have the ability to actively listen.

Folks who trash-talk their last employers. Remember your mom's advice about "if you don't have anything to say, don't say anything at all?" It is absolutely true at a job interview. It's a measure of professionalism and maturity to be able to walk away from your last job and only talk about the positives. Never gripe about your last manager or the company's policies or procedures.

Candidates who aren't enthusiastic enough. I can attest to this one myself; as a hiring manager, I look for eagerness and excitement. I want someone who is thrilled at the thought of taking the role I have available and is enthusiastic to get started. Let it show. Definitely, if I have to choose between two similar candidates, I'll take the more energetic, outgoing, enthusiastic one every time.

People who doesn't observe basic courtesies or manners. You're nervous at your interview, and that probably explains who you sometimes do some stupid things, like failing to shake your interviewer's hand or saying thanks at the end of the day. And of course, definitely follow up with a 'thank you' note. People notice.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Gangplank HQ