Avoid These Things When Going For A Job Interview
1. Turning up late
To demonstrate your interest, you should arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the interview. Plan your journey and allow extra time for traffic or public transport delays. Take into account the time of day you are traveling and avoid rush hour if possible.
Consider driving to the interview and parking nearby, as this will give you more control over when you arrive. If you do have to walk or use public transport, try to relax by reading a book or listening to music on the way. Being late is never good but being late because of a missed train is infinitely worse than being late because of traffic, so plan accordingly!
2. Dressing inappropriately for the job interview
As a general rule, avoid wearing anything to an interview that would make you comfortable in either a biker bar or a strip club. If you have any doubts about what your outfit says about you, ask yourself if you could picture it on the cover of Vogue. Or GQ. Or Hustler.
If you’re interviewing at an investment banking firm, then wear a suit and tie (if you’re male) or some nice slacks or a skirt with a blazer (if you’re female). If it’s an interview for a summer camp counselor position, don’t wear your Sunday best; go for jeans and your favorite sneakers.
If the job ad says “casual attire,” err on the smart side—jeans are generally not appropriate unless they look new and crisp. In that case, go for clean shoes rather than beat-up sneakers: polished leather shoes look great with dark jeans and a button-down shirt.
3. Avoid distractions
To avoid distractions, it’s probably better to keep your phone in your bag or pocket and turn it off completely. If you leave it on but on silent, there’s a chance your ringtone will go off or you’ll hear that sweet ping of new text notifications. Either way, this is a distraction for you and the interviewer.
The best-case scenario is to keep your phone turned off and put away. That way, if the interviewer is late and you’re feeling impatient, you won’t be tempted to check your phone (or worse, check Facebook) while waiting for him or her.
4. Try not to call people by their first name unless he/she permits you to do so
Breaking news: This is not a casual barbecue. Try not to call people by their first name unless he/she permits you to do so. Not every place has the same rules about what is and isn’t acceptable, but as a general rule: If you’re applying for an IT job at Google, it’s probably fine to go with “Hey dude, how ya doin’?”
But if you’re interviewing for a position at the Queen of England’s estate, the answer is “probably not.”
Considerations include whether or not your interviewer shares your gender, age, and how formal/informal the interview process is. In addition, consider whether or not you know them very well (and/or they know you) and where in the world they are from. For example in some parts of Europe, it can be considered impolite to use surnames.
Also, think about how senior your interviewer is compared with yourself. If there’s a significant difference in seniority level then it would be advisable to use one of their titles (e.g., Mr., Ms., Dr.) or any other title that he/she may have (Ph.D.).
5. Avoid bragging about yourself and your accomplishments
If you don’t want your interviewer to think you’re a self-involved rube, avoid bragging about yourself and your accomplishments! That may sound like an obvious mistake to avoid, but you might be surprised by how often it comes up.
Even if you do have some impressive achievements or credentials that make you a great candidate for the job, resist the urge to talk them up too much. Your interviewer wants to see that you are a team player who can work well with other people, not just someone who can accomplish their goals on their own. If possible, talk about how your accomplishments benefited your team as well as yourself and what role other members of the team played in helping you reach those goals.
Most job interviews will at least touch on salary expectations at some point in the process, and certainly, before an offer is extended. While it’s important to have some idea of what would make a position worth taking for you financially, try not to bring it up unless asked—especially during an initial interview.
Bragging about how much money you currently make or talking about how much more money than expected will send your interviewer running for the hills; they don’t want to come across as desperate or pushy when asking for more than average compensation.
Save any questions regarding salary or benefits until they come up naturally during a conversation with your interviewer, and then ask away—just don’t volunteer anything too soon!
6. Do not be cocky and don’t try to fight back if someone is putting you down because of something you said or did in the interview
You could be charming and cocky as you walk in, and that might work out for you. But, don’t forget: some people will make it their mission to kill your vibe.
Nobody wants a know-it-all working for them. It is better to stay humble and calm while showcasing your skills during the interview process. If someone is putting you down because of something you said or did in the interview, don’t try to fight back! Just stay calm and apologize for what you said or did wrong.
If an interviewer crosses the line from professional to personal with their questions, don’t engage. They may not realize how inappropriate they’re being (or maybe they do). Either way, trying to engage with that line of questioning gives them some leverage over you if it becomes a hiring issue later on.
The last thing anyone wants during an interview is being put into an uncomfortable situation where they have to defend themselves against a verbal attack by their interviewer. Just remain calm and collected, apologize if necessary, move on as best as possible, but most importantly: do not stoop down to their level!
7. Avoid lying and fudging your resume or CV
The truth will set you free—or at least help you get a new job. Before you enter an interview, it can be tempting to fudge your resume or CV to make yourself appear more experienced and qualified than you are. You might think nobody will notice if you add an extra semester of a language course, or that an employer won’t check up on the period during which you worked at Bob’s Burgers.
While we can’t say for sure what these people would do in those situations, we have seen job candidates complete interviews by being honest about their skills and background. This doesn’t mean they couldn’t have gotten away with lying—just that there are far more benefits to telling the truth than lying, especially when mistakes are so easy to discover with a few minutes of Googling.
Lying about your qualifications is not only ethically questionable; it could also cost you the job, and then some. If employers find out that you’ve been less than truthful about your skill set, they’ll probably be reluctant to trust anything else that came out of your mouth during the interview process. Worst case scenario: They’ll fire you from a position before even hiring (and possibly blacklisting) someone who lied in their interviews!
8. Staring at the floor during an interview
One of the most common interview mistakes is staring at the floor when answering questions.
Indeed, looking at the floor isn’t a good idea for two reasons. First, it makes you look insecure and unprepared for the conversation. And second, it prevents you from establishing a connection with the interviewer. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, try your best to keep eye contact throughout the interview. You don’t have to stare into their eyes without blinking though; feel free to look away if you need a moment or two to reflect on what they are saying, or if you are feeling nervous during an interview.
9. Talking about salary
- Never ask about salary until you’re in the final stretch of the interview process. Even though it’s okay to inquire at that point, be ready to negotiate, especially if they offer you a low number.
- Don’t bring up benefits like insurance, pension, and holiday time until the company makes an offer. If they don’t offer anything beyond what’s been advertised, come prepared with a list of benefits that are important to you.
- Don’t ask about work hours or days per week during the interview—unless you’re in a very specific job field where working hours are set by managers or clients. Asking this question will make it seem like you prefer spending less time at work as opposed to more, which is bad news for any employer.
10. The dominance of the conversation
It’s one thing to feel comfortable with the interviewer, but if you find yourself dominating the conversation it can leave a bad impression. The interviewer may think you’re arrogant or overconfident. Interviewer: “How often do you go hiking?” You: “Oh, I love going on hikes! I’ve hiked all my life! Last year, I hiked up this mountain with my friends and we camped there for 10 days!” This is an exaggeration—but even so, it paints a pretty clear picture of an individual who might take up too much space in an office setting.
And what about your questions? If you ask more than five questions during an interview, this could also be seen as dominating the conversation. Asking lots of questions not only shows that you’re curious and engaged—which is great—but it can also indicate that you know exactly what type of job you want and have done your research beforehand.
You don’t want to come off as someone who needs elaborate explanations for everything or doesn’t know how to navigate difficult situations on their own; nor do you want to appear as though nothing satisfies you or meets your standards.
11. Being rude to the person that is interviewing you
Being rude to an interview is one of the easiest ways to get rejected. You should never be rude to any person you meet during the interview process, especially the interviewer, who will decide whether or not you get hired for this job.
Some people think that being rude is one way of showing confidence and power, but it won’t help with your career in any way. It’s a clear indication that you’ll have difficulty communicating with and relating to others later on if you’re hired for this job.
Keep that in mind as well when you go for your interview: do not ever be rude to anyone at the company during your visit, including staff members and other candidates who are interviewing for this same position.
12. Detailing your family life or other personal matters – religion and political views included
A job interview is the first impression. You should be focused on the job and what you can bring to the company. Remember, they are not interested in your personal life at this stage.
While some family details might slip into conversation, don’t make it a huge part of your chat. If you have children or other responsibilities that may require flexibility, don’t talk about it during the interview until it becomes necessary (and even then be brief). Political or religious views are also inappropriate to discuss unless they directly relate to an aspect of the job.
13. Asking inappropriate questions about your interviewer’s personal life
As the interview comes to a close, the interviewer will most likely ask you if you have any questions. This is your chance to show that you’ve done your homework and researched the company. If not, then don’t be afraid to say so! Just always remember that it’s not the right time to get personal.
It’s important to be professional during an interview. It’s not an appropriate time or place for personal questions like “How long have you been working here?” or “How many kids do you have?” You can learn about those things later on in your career when you know someone better and a more natural conversation arises.
Better yet, Google it! If your interviewer does volunteer information about his or her family or life outside of work, wonderful! Just be sure not to ask follow-up questions about those topics—it will seem intrusive and inappropriate.
Otherwise, keep it short and sweet when asking questions of your own. As much as possible, try to avoid yes/no answers instead keep the discussion open-ended while getting as much information as possible on their end of things. Keep in mind that interviews are two-way conversations: You should both ask and answer questions with equal interest and enthusiasm to make a good impression on both sides of the table!
14. Going too into detail with your answers, rambling on and on. Not being able to get to the point quickly
In a job interview, it is important to avoid going into too much detail with your answers. This can make you seem like you are rambling on and on about something that is not important. When answering questions it is very important to be concise and gets to the point quickly. Going into too much detail will make the interviewer think that you are unable to answer clearly, or perhaps even unenthusiastic about the job in question.
In addition, answer only what is asked of you. Avoid giving unnecessary information that will only serve as filler and won’t help your chances of being hired by the company interviewing you
There are several things to avoid when going for a job interview
Try to remember these rules when going for an interview!
If you’re going for a job interview, there are certain things you can do to help yourself ace it! For example, make sure not to be late. Showing up on time is one of the best ways to show that you’re responsible and reliable. Make sure the clothes that you wear are appropriate—try not to dress too casually or too formally. Remember: the person interviewing you will be mirroring your behavior, so try to act professional without being stiff!
During an interview, it’s also important not to get distracted by small things. Try not to check your phone constantly or talk about things that aren’t related to why you’re there. Finally, avoid bragging about yourself or talking negatively about your previous employers; this could seriously hurt your chances of getting hired!