Never Do These 5 Things in a Job Interview

By Amanda Olavarria on July 28, 2017

The job process is never easy and is oftentimes a little nerve wracking. After sending in your job application comes the dreaded interview portion. Most people find this portion of the job process to be not only their least favorite but also very stressful.

Although most of us seem to hate this valuable part of the job process, it serves as a way to weed out the good from the bad. However, if you know what to avoid during your interview, you can ensure fewer nerves and better performance.

In a job interview, we want to display our best self to our prospective employers, a self that is responsible, professional, and well-mannered. It may seem obvious how to behave during an interview, but when nerves start to kick in or you get asked a tricky question it can become difficult to keep it together. However, there are a few things you should definitely avoid doing the next time you get called in for an interview.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

1. Show up late 

Honestly, the fact that you should be on time to your interview should be a no brainer, yet people still do this all the time. Account for things like traffic or detours and leave the house early. Setting multiple alarms is also a great practice to ensure it rings. However, if you are someone who has had trouble with alarms in the past, ask a reliable friend or family member to call you to wake you up.

Another great habit to get into is picking your outfit the day before. This limits the stress of not knowing what to wear because you already have your clothes lined up ready to go. Take whatever actions you need to ensure when the time comes you are ready to leave the house in a timely fashion.  

2. Wear inappropriate clothing

This is another tip that seems to be pretty obvious, but because of its importance demands to be restated. It is important that you remember a job interview, for the most part, requires more formal attire.

This is not the proper venue to wear things like yoga pants or a baggy shirt and flip flops. You are not going to be hanging around your house, you are going to be speaking to a potential employer about why you are the right person for the job, so you want to ensure your wardrobe matches that statement.

Clothes like blazers, slacks, and suits are the kind of apparel that shows your professionalism.

3. Arrive unprepared

Once you get to the interview, you want to make sure you are giving the interviewer satisfactory answers. In order to ensure high performance on your end, you have to prepare and practice your answers often. Although this task seems quite monotonous, it will pay off when it comes to your interview time and you will be thankful for your time spent practicing. There truly is no such thing as being too prepared and being prepared can only work to your benefit.

4. Ask too little or too many questions

It can be easy to brush off this part of the interview, but like every part of the interview, asking questions is of great importance. After the interview is ‘over’ the interviewer will look to you and ask you if you have any questions. As much as you might want to say no, you should think of some to ask just to show your interest in the job and to show you paid attention.

By asking questions you are essentially showing that you care about the position. However, in the same breath, you do not want to ask too many questions. Too many questions can make it seem like you are taking over the interview. You should prepare for just the right amount of questioning where you do not seem uninterested or over the top.

5. Speak negatively about past employers 

No one wants to hire someone who speaks negatively in general, let alone about their previous employer. This does nothing but reflect badly on your character and can be a major turn off for those interviewing you. You want to reflect a competent and positive image and you cannot do that when speaking negatively about your past experiences.

If your past employer or environment was not the best, you can always explain to the interviewer that it was not the proper fit for you. It is important to remember there is a certain way you should approach certain topics during an interview because a misunderstanding can be the difference between you getting the job or not.

These interview mistakes can be easily avoided with a little conscious effort and practice. Although interviews can be scary, they can also work to your favor. As long as you remember what to avoid when interviewing, it will be that much easier.

Amanda is a junior at the University of Connecticut studying communication studies with a psychology and english minor.

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