Here's the biggest mistake job candidates make during interviews, according to a career expert

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10 Ways to Blow a Job Interview According to Career Expert

Showing up late is one of the most common mistakes people make during job interviews.

But perhaps the worst mistake candidates make involves not being present at all.

"I would say the biggest mistake is wishing the job interview to be over," Vicky Oliver, the author of "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions" and "301 Smart Answers to Tough Etiquette Questions" and a career expert who has coached hundreds of job candidates, tells Business Insider.

"Of course you want it to be over, but while you're there in front of the interviewer, you must work to stay mentally present," she says.

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5 tips to help you land your first job after graduation
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Here's the biggest mistake job candidates make during interviews, according to a career expert

Take advantage of your college career center
Most universities offer career coaching from trained professionals who specialize in development and advancement. Whether or not you have an idea of your career plans post-college, it can be beneficial to take a few hours out of your day and set up an appointment with one of the counselors. Many times, these professionals can review and help you tailor your resumé and cover letter. To top it off, because of their experience and networks in various industries, counselors have the potential to connect you with hiring managers.

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Begin creating and using your network 
One of the most important aspects to finding a job is taking advantage of your professional and personal network. Your connections can vary from your family members and friends to your professors and alumni. If you feel as if you're lacking a valuable network, however, business association events and gatherings are the best way to gain important contacts.

Photo credit: Getty

Participate in recruiting and career fairs 
This piece of advice may be the most obvious, but many students fail to take advantage of it. Careers fairs orchestrated by your specific college are invaluable. They allow you to not only learn about opportunities in your respective career, but it also allows you the opportunity to network with hiring managers and employers of the companies present.

Use your social media wisely 
It goes without saying that we live in a social media world. Everything you do online can be tracked, so it's important to make sure you are representing your personality and style accurately, and in the best possible light -- you never know who may be looking at your page.

Always follow up  
With the advancement of modern technology, most job applications are done online. Because of this new process, it oftentimes makes it harder to find the person of contact to follow up with. However, you shouldn't let that initial obstacle prevent you from following up. If you can't find the name of the hiring manager directly reviewing your application, use LinkedIn to do a search of the next best person to reach out to. Many potential employees miss out on interviews by not being proactive and sending follow up emails.

Oliver says staying mentally present during an interview is especially challenging given "our collective addiction to our mobile devices." In fact, recent research from Microsoft suggests that we now have shorter attention spans than goldfish, thanks in part to modern technology.

Microsoft found that, since 2000, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds — meanwhile goldfish tend to lose concentration around nine seconds. "Heavy multi-screeners find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli — they're more easily distracted by multiple streams of media," the report read.

Unfortunately, having a short attention span can really hurt you in the job interview.

"Interviewers know when you are not there mentally," Oliver says. And your distraction translates as either inadvertent rudeness (you just don't come off as all that interested in the job) — or unfocused answers (you're not really answering the questions asked).

"So, instead of putting in an A performance, you're down to a B-," she says.

To counteract this, candidates need to consciously work on listening with both their eyes and their brain. "Be there, mentally. It's really critical," suggests Oliver.

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