Eight things you should avoid doing during a job interview

Your performance during your job interview can make or break your chances of securing a job. Here are eight things to avoid doing during one.

Job interviews serve as an avenue for your potential employer to assess whether or not you possess the skills required by the organization. Job interviews also allow you to learn the dynamics of the organization, gauge your career suitability, and meet your potential colleagues.

Although important, not everyone has the confidence and skills to handle job interviews properly. Aside from not knowing how to prepare for a job interview, a lot of candidates are also clueless about how they should behave during the interview and create a positive impression in the eyes of their potential employer.

Your inability to know these things can become the reason why you might be turned down for the job, regardless of how qualified you are for the position.

You can increase your chances of landing a stable job once you learn how to avoid doing the following eight things during a job interview.

1) Arriving late

As mentioned, your behavior during your job interview is essential in creating the right impression. Your job interview will be the first time that your potential employer will see and get to know you, which is why you should take great care to be at and look your best.

One of the most important things you should avoid during an interview is arriving late. You’ll usually know your interview date several days, if not weeks, ahead. This will give you enough time to prepare and work out your mode of transportation, so you can ensure that you get to the location on time.

Arriving late during your job interview can say a lot about your personality as a future employee – or about how much you respect and want to work for this employer. Tardiness is a poor behavior in the workplace that can adversely affect the quality and accuracy of your output, and your ability to work with other teams.

2) Unexcused absence

It doesn’t matter how far much notice you get for your job interview, there will always be unexpected situations that can prevent you from arriving up on time.

Perhaps your car broke down en-route? Or your train or bus was delayed? Whatever the reason, apologize as soon as you arrive, and explain the situation. If possible, send updates to your interviewer in real-time, so they will know that you are on your way, and how long they may need to wait for you.

If you fall sick on your interview date and can no longer show up, inform your potential employer right away. Call them and apologize for the inconvenience, and ask if it’s possible for you to reschedule your interview.

Informing your potential employer about your situation as early as possible shows that you respect their time, and you are genuinely keep to be part of their organization.

3) Being too casual when greeting

Finding out you have secured an interview for your dream job, or working with your dream company can be exciting. Or even just securing any interview at all can be a relief after a long job hunt!

But regardless of how excited you may feel, don’t allow yourself to become too overwhelmed with the feeling – and definitely don’t express it to your interviewer.

Gushing or giddy excitement is never a good look – and certainly not a very professional one. Instead, maintain your focus and be polite with good manners. Greet your interviewer with confidence, maintain eye contact, and flash your best smile at them.

One of the biggest mistakes candidates make during their job interviews is freeing greeting their potential employer impolitely, without making any eye contact. Aside from being disrespectful, this practice can also show how unprepared and unconfident you are for the interview.

4) Not showing interest in the employer or organization

How you look and present yourself during your job interview is only one part of being successful. You should also show your potential employer that you are interested in getting the job by demonstrating your knowledge of the company.

Remember that your job interview is your chance to showcase your skills and suitability for the job – and you can achieve this goal by doing some research on the organization.

During your job interview, expect that you will be asked many questions. The interviewer will want to know more about you, and will ask about your job experience and how ready you are for the role you’re applying for.

If you don’t want to find yourself rendered speechless when your interviewer asks you questions about the organization (and you really don’t!) take the time to gather sufficient information about the organization before your interview.

For starters, you should know the name and nature of the organization you’re applying to work for Are they working in the manufacturing industry? Or do they solely operate to provide customer services?

Are you aware of the products and services that the organization provides? How about their history and growth? What’s their history? Their mission? And what are their latest news stories?

The more information you know about the organization, the easier it’ll be for you to impress your interviewer with your knowledge and keenness.

5. Submitting questionable or incorrect documents

Submitting documents prior to your interview dates is a common practice in some industries. Depending on the position you’re applying for, you may be required by your potential employer to submit your application letter and resume.

Some employers might also ask you to compile certifications and other documents that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

To ensure that these documents will help to increase your chances of landing a job (and not do the complete opposite), spend time checking the content and presentation of them.

Submitting questionable or incorrect documents will be a red flag to an employer, and could mean they turn down your application and consider other candidates for the post.

6) Showing up looking tired

Your appearance is the first thing that your potential employer will notice about you – and judge you on. Your potential employer will use your physical appearance as a basis to assess your suitability to the organization, and to the post you’re applying for.

You can create a positive impression on your potential employer by making sure that you look good on the day of your interview – and that means getting a good night’s sleep the nigh before so you’re well rested and ready to shine.

Showing up to your appointment looking tired will make it seem like you’re not really that interested in the job. How can you answer your interviewer’s questions properly if you’re suppressing yawns throughout the interview? How can you impress your interviewer if you’re too sleepy to focus and keep your eyes open?

To avoid feeling and looking tired, make sure you prepare for your interview well in advance, and don’t need to stay up late the night before cramming.

7) Not having good personal hygiene

Your potential employer won’t just take in what you’re wearing for your job interview, they’ll scrutinize your overall appearance (often unconsciously). And one thing that has the potential to make a BAD impression straight away is poor personal hygiene.

No one wants to work in close proximity to someone who is scruffy has poor hygiene – especially if they have bad body odour. They’ll also reflect poorly on the organization – clients and customers will form an impression on the whole organization based on the members of staff they have contact with. And presenting yourself poorly could lose them business.

So, while it may seem obvious, make sure you take care of your personal hygiene before you job interview. Check your fingernails are clean, the clothes you choose to wear are clean and well maintained, and you don’t have any food stuck in your teeth. Also ensure you shower or bathe that morning, wear anti perspirant and check your hair is freshly washed.

Contrary to popular belief, these elements are not minor and are actually very noticeable to interviewers. And while they may not consciously discriminate against you based on these factors, unconsciously they will certainly impact their impression of you.

So give yourself a careful, final mirror check before leaving home for your job interview.

8) Wearing inappropriate clothing

Regardless if this is your first or twentieth job interview, you need to dress the part – and choose your interview outfit carefully for the role and organization you’re applying for.

Wearing inappropriate clothing – one that doesn’t suit the working environment of the organization – can give a poor impression about you. Even if you’re qualified for the job, if you don’t know how to dress appropriately for it, it’ll be hard for you to convince the interviewer that you’re the perfect candidate for the role.

Generally, you should wear professional or business attire for your job interview. For men, this can mean a suit jacket paired with slacks or a sweater and button-down. For women, a formal blouse and slacks, or formal dress are appropriate.

If you’re unsure of what clothes to wear during your job interview, reach out to the organization and ask them. Inquiring about the dress code can be nerve-wracking, but asking this question before your scheduled interview will potentially save you from potential embrassment by feeling you’re not appropriately dressed, and increase your chances of getting the job.

Knowledge is power

Not many people enjoy job interviews – and most people feel incredibly nervous preparing for and attending them. But by ensuring that you are well prepared and you are ready to present yourself to your potential employers, answer their questions and give a good impression can help you feel more confident.

Some simple preparations can make all the difference to your performance, and give you the edge over the competition – allowing your interviewer to see that you’re genuinely the best candidate for the job.

Photo by Dmitriy Frantsev