Career Development Interview Advice

10 Things You Shouldn’t Do in a Job Interview

The job interview is an impending life altering episode and you have to do it right. Yet, so many people face it ill-prepared. Maybe you have an outstanding resume and marvelous work experience. They make you an impressive candidate partially, but, to get the job, you must interview well.  Go through the following tips to avoid things you shouldn’t do in an interview to make a good first impression:

1) Being unprepared:

The first and foremost thing you should keep in mind is to not go into an interview without doing proper research on the industry, the company, your potential boss, and other relevant things. You may know your work well, but if you don’t know how the company operates, then it will be more difficult for you to convey that you are a fit for the organization. Use the ‘About us’ tab of the company website to learn things like this before giving interview in that company.

2) Showing up late:

Showing up late immediately establishes a bad impression and is unacceptable.  Be punctual. Don’t be late unless you truly had no control and some sort of anomaly occurred to keep you from arriving on time.  Remember – on time means 15 minutes early!

3) Dressing inappropriately:  

The very first impression about you is made by the interviewers when they set their eyes upon you. Being casual might be the current trend, but remember that the interview isn’t a casual meeting.  Whereas some industries or companies are unique in that they actually prefer you not dress in business attire for the interview, they are rare. Dress appropriately.

4) Having poor body language:

Interviewers will evaluate everything – including what your body language communicates.  Sitting improperly, shaking legs, crossing arms, not making proper eye contact- these all send signals that you may be nervous, unable to keep your composure, or a number of other interpretations that aren’t favorable. When you are in an interview, try to sit straight and hold your head and backbone in a line. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Maintain direct eye contact with the interviewer. It will give them a message about your self assurance and confidence.

5) Not being clear while answering:

Questioning you is the interviewers only medium to know about you and answering to the questions is your only way to express yourself. So, while giving answers to their questions, try to be specific, relevant and obviously straightforward. Take your time before answering a question. Think about it. Organize your thoughts and then deliver it. If you are unable to answer it, then frankly tell them. Do not try to give wrong or irrelevant answers. It may do more harm than good.

6) Speaking ill about your current or past employer(s):

Avoid saying negative things about your current or past employer(s). Being negative will show a lack of tact and diplomacy in communication and may portray you as a disgruntled or angry person – not a person they’ll want to hire.

7) Not asking questions:

Employers want to hire someone who wants to work with them and shows interest in the company. Asking questions will give them a feeling that you are interested in the job. Not asking and remaining silent may give an impression that you were not prepared and/or not very interested.

8) Lying in the resume:

Be accurate on your resume. Do not exaggerate or falsify information.  Anything can be discussed at the interview and being caught lying in the resume during the interview will surely lead to not being selected but can damage your reputation as well.  Maintain your integrity.

9) Talking about money:

Discuss your salary when you are asked. Do not ask about it yourself. If they find you eligible, they typiclaly will make the first move but talking about salary too early can make it seem as if salary is your priority vs. being enthusiastic about the position and the company.  For more advice on discussing salary, read “How and When to Discuss Salary During the Interview Process.”

10) Not asking about follow up:

Before leaving the interview, try to find out the expected next steps. Consider asking if there is an estimated timeframe in which they expect to fill the position and what the next possible steps might be in the process.  This gives you timelines from which you can base follow up communications and gives you piece of mind knowing the next steps and when the position is expected to be filled.

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