Interview horrors

by | 03.11.22

We would like to share with you the ultimate list of what not to do in a job interview, we have listed below specific things that pretty much any employer would agree would make them think negatively about a job candidate.

We are not saying that doing any one of these things will automatically disqualify you for a job – we’re simply saying don’t take the risk. Here we go:

Arrive too early or too late

Arriving ten minutes before the interview time is perfect, any earlier could be considered difficult. For instance there may be no one available to greet you or you may run into another interviewee. Arriving late is a sin. This should be obvious, even one minute passed the agreed upon time is considered late. Arriving late gives the impression that you not only lack professionalism but discipline.

Using your phone

In an interview situation using your mobile will definitely reflect badly on you whether you are in the reception area waiting to be interviewed, or even worse in the interview itself – do not do it, it shows you lack boundaries and respect. Your phone should be switched of and either in your bag or in your pocket. Never in your hand. Concentrate on your interview, you can deal with your calls afterwards.

Tell fibs

It is quite normal for you to bend the truth to your benefit when looking for work but you should never go so far as to lie. A fib may not show up in the interview but it probably will if you get a job offer. It is also illegal to fib about your qualifications, education or work experience so this could have really serious consequences.

Arrive as if you are going to the pub

There are a lot of different views on what you should wear to an interview, but the general consensus is smart, conservative office wear. Avoid no-go’s like casual or too revealing clothing. Jeans and tee shirts are not acceptable along with leggings, sweatshirts etc. a smart pair of trousers or a shirt with a nice shirt or blouse is what to wear.

Demonstrate no personality

During an interview it is not just your skills that are being assessed it is also your personality. It is really important that you do not get defensive or negative about anything you are asked even it is something from your past which gets you riled up. You need to show a bit of your personality, the pleasant side. When an employer is recruiting they are looking at more than your skills and experience, they are looking at whether you will fit in, so don’t be shy, show a little bit of yourself.

Have poor body language

This includes things like not making good eye contact, not smiling, fidgeting throughout the interview, crossing you arms or playing with your hair. This type of activity is distracting and could signal to the interviewer you struggle to focus. It could also indicate that you are bored or simply not interested in the role. So sit comfortably, look the interviewer in the eye, smile a lot and look relaxed.

Be clueless

You should spend as much time preparing for an interview as you have for any exam you have ever taken. Learn about the Company, anticipate interview questions, draft questions to ask, know where you are going so you are not late. All employers are looking for competent people and if you can’t be bothered to do your preparation and research prior to an interview you are seriously not going to impress anyone.

Moan about previous employers

Never, never, never moan about your current or former employer in an interview. An alarm bell will go off with the interviewer the moment you criticise an employer, the interviewer will think “is this how you’ll talk about us too?”. No-one likes a moaner and by going on about a previous boss or Company you are going to come across as really ungracious and perhaps be conceived as not a nice person.

Over share

You should never willingly offer up information that might result in unintentional discrimination. Keep your discussion points professional. Even when asked “What do you do in your spare time?”. Don’t over share too much personal information. By this we mean an employer does not need to know if you are married, single or engaged, if you have children, if you follow a religion or even if you are vegan. They also do not have to be told your age, whether you live alone, whether you are a carer for an elderly relative or whether you plan to retire in three years time. Never over share – there’s no need.

Come across greedy

You will have plenty of time to enquire about salary and benefits… after you receive the job offer. These questions are important, but the right time to ask them is when you are offered the role. If you dive in with this question you will come across as greedy and the employer will think that the only thing you are interested in is the money and not the job you have applied for.

Interview horrors are to be avoided at all costs so we hope that these tips will help you to avoid them in the future and we would take this opportunity of wishing you every success with your current job search.


Angela Burton