6 Things You Should Never Do In An Interview

4 minute read

There’s nothing quite like being told that you’ve made it to the interview stage. After submitting the CV and cover letter that you’ve worked so hard on, it is time to move onto the next step and get ready to meet the organisation face to face. It’s officially time to get prepared to impress the interviewer and give them no other option but to choose you from all the other candidates.

First impressions during an interview are key to getting the job you want, but there is much more to it than this. If you want to impress the employer, as well as learning what to do, you should consider that what not to do is equally important.

So, what should you never do during an interview? Read on to see the 7 things you must avoid at all costs!

Arriving Late

As obvious as it may sound, arriving on time (or early) to an interview is the very first step to leaving the right impression. But it’s not just about getting a potential employer to take you seriously, arriving a little bit early gives you the time you need to relax and do any last minute prep. If you’re late for your interview, you could damage your reputation with them before you’ve even had an opportunity to say anything. Getting there on time sends a signal: it shows that you’re ready, eager and willing to prove you’re one of the best of the bunch.

Remember: Being late is also considered a disrespect of the company that invited you for the interview.

Excessive Body Language

Regardless of how many interviews you’ve been at so far, body language is always key and is something you should bare in mind. That’s why it’s so important to practice body language and pay attention to your movements while speaking to a potential employer. You may not notice it in the moment, but many people get nervous and do things like scratching their head, clicking a pen or waving with the hands too much. Stay calm and take a breath – remember that there’s no need to rush your answers as your interviewer wants to spend this time getting to know you.

Remember: To pause if you’re trying to think of an answer to a question. There’s nothing wrong with a moment of silence and this can help you to gather your thoughts and reduce the nerves.

Saying Bad Things about Former Employers

It’s never wise to bad mouth previous employers during your interview (but you’d be surprised how many people make this mistake). Even though it may be a thing of the past and your old employers behaviour very well could have been a factor that encouraged you to leave, you should never speak about it during your interview. Bad experiences shouldn’t be the focus of your conversation, your achievements and ability to be a great fit within the organisation should.

Remember: If your interviewer does ask why you’re looking for a new role there are a number of reasonable responses you can give that don’t lead to you speaking badly about a previous employer. Did you need a new challenge? Thought your skills weren’t quite being put to use?

How to capture a recruiter’s attention in 6 seconds

You have six seconds to get a recruiter's attention. So here are some ways to leave a great impressi..

Find out here >

Not Dressing to Impress

If you want to get a job, you must dress for it. When at an interview, dress in a way suitable for that particular organisation. If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s always better to be prepared than to arrive in something that’s far too casual. You want to give the interviewer the impression that you’re professional. So dress for the occasion.

Remember: If you’re not too sure what the dress code is, there’s nothing wrong with asking. It tells the interviewer that you want to make a great first impression.

Interrupting the Interviewer

Interviews aren’t exactly the place that you want to finish off someone else’s sentences. There’s no rush, so don’t jump the gun and start answering a question before your interviewer has finished speaking. Wait for them to finish, reflect on the question or statement for a moment, and then share your thoughts. You can always say what you want once you have carefully listened to what they have to say.

Remember: Cutting people off in the middle of a sentence can come across as arrogant or rude. Listening is just as important as answering the questions so stay sharp.

Poor Posture

Holding a great posture isn’t just for those moments that you’re stuck in front of a computer screen. The way that you sit or stand as well as your facial expressions tell people a great deal about how you feel in the moment. For example, if you curve your back forward, they may think you are unconfident. If you cross your arms, you will seem uninterested or guarded during the conversation.

Remember: Sit straight and relax your shoulders. Always lean forward a bit to show interest in the conversation. The posture is extremely important during an interview and can help to set the right tone when you’re speaking to someone.

This article is  written by Joan Selby career coach and blogger


Do you have any interview tips you’d like to share with us? Mention them in the comments section below!

Joan Selby

Joan Selby is a career coach and a blogger; a graduate of California Institute of the Arts and a fancy-shoe lover; a writer by day and reader by night, giving a creative touch to everything. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.

You might also like...

Don't miss another post, sign up to our weekly newsletter

Thank you for subscribing, you're on the list for the next edition!