What shouldn't you do when interviewing?
Here are the most common job interview mistakes, blunders, and errors a
candidate for employment can make.
Unfortunately, it's easy to make these mistakes without even realizing it - and
many of them are more common than you might think!
Take the time to prepare before your interview, so you don't have to stress out
about blunders after it.
1. Arrogant Attitudes- Candidate arrogance is a common complaint among
Candidates too often cross over from confidence to arrogance. There is a fine
distinction between the two.
Confident people relate to interviewers as equals, while arrogant people are
condescending, giving the impression they think they're above other people, either
socially or otherwise.
Be especially careful about arrogance when you're interviewing with someone
younger than you or if you're interviewing for positions that are a step or two
down from your last role.
2. Slating your current company or boss
Fed up with your current job and would give anything to leave because they've treated
Your job interview is NOT the time to seek revenge. Bear in mind that the interviewer
will be listening to your answers and thinking about what it would be like to work
Ask yourself: do you like working with people who constantly criticize others? Isn't it
a bit wearing? The trouble is that the interviewer draws massive conclusions from your
So your throwaway comment about your boss or employer may be interpreted to be
your "standard" way of thinking. It makes you look bad, not your employer.
3. The Failure to Listen- There are few things more disconcerting to an
interviewer than a candidate whose responses aren't on point or one who
constantly asks to have questions repeated.
Stay engaged in the give and take of the conversation.
Ask clarifying questions when you need to.
Give answers that are on point.
Lean slightly forward.
Maintain appropriate eye contact.
These behaviors indicate you're actively listening.
4. Little or No Knowledge About the Company- Too many candidates
interview with companies they know nothing about.
If you can't be bothered to do basic research the interviewer will infer you're not
willing to go the extra mile.
The bigger the company, the more unforgivable this will be.
5. Arrive on Time.
This is an absolute must.
To be sure you will make it on time, take a ride to the location a day or two
before the interview so you know how to get there.
Leave the house an hour earlier than you normally would, because traffic jams
and bad weather happen at the worst times.
Take a few moments to calm your nerves, and, if you like, say a prayer and check
yourself in a mirror.
When it is time to walk in the door, do so about ten or fifteen minutes before the
interview is supposed to start.
Never arrive late.
If something comes up, such as a traffic accident, call the company as soon as
possible to make them aware of the situation.
6. Don't ask about benefits.
This is immaterial in a first interview, even in a second. The salary, perks etc.
will come onto the table, and the hirer will offer these.
You should not ask for it. You don't want to leave the impression that you are
just in it for the money etc.
7. Your Handphone.
It must be in one mode only and that is OFF. I really don't need to justify why
this is essential. It's simply rude to leave it on during an interview and even
more so to answer a call.
I once had that happen when I interviewed a woman. She took a personal call
and spoke for about 10 minutes.
She did apologies but did I hire her? I don't think so. It's simply disrespectful.
8. Be Strategic With Your Questions- Forgetting to ask how long the previous
person was in the role will cause you to lose out on valuable information.
You should also find out what priorities would require your immediate attention.
This will tell you if everything was left in order, or if you will have to sort out a
It should also tell you how much time the boss will give you to sort out the mess.
Try to find out what type of corporate culture you will be entering - what you need
to do to progress in the organization.
Having received the answer to all these questions, you may decide to politely
excuse yourself and head for the exit.
9. Be professional- Professionalism is highly valued.
Are you chewing gum, smoking or tapping your pen on your portfolio?
Everything you do will be judged in some form or fashion by the interviewer.
Omit anything that might exclude you from further consideration as a potential
10. Speak Clearly and Concisely- Remember the phrase, "Never use two words
when one word will do.
" Address each person you meet as "Mr." or "Ms." and articulate your words
using proper grammar.
Also, keep your answers short and to the point.
Talk to communicate a message, not just to fill the quiet spells in the interview.
Speak up and out so your interviewer doesn’t ask “What did you say?”
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.