Things You Shouldn’t Do in an Interview
When you focus so much on preparing for your interview in the right way, it’s easy to push the possibilities of what could go wrong to the back of your mind. There are a few things that could cause a slight bit of embarrassment for you during an interview – but we don’t want to be all doom and gloom. Any potential disasters are actually pretty easy to avoid; you’ve just got to make sure that you’re self-aware. These mishaps mostly boil down to manners, body language, and common sense. To help bypass any blunders, we’ve explained 8 things that you shouldn’t do in an interview.
Don’t arrive to the interview late
C’mon, this is the obvious one. Arriving late to your interview tells the employer that you’re not really interested in getting the job. It makes you look extremely unprofessional and instantly proves that you’re terrible at timekeeping. If your reason for being late really is beyond your control, have the courtesy to call the company and let them know that you’ll be late. It’s not great, but it shows a little more respect. To avoid this problem in the first place, make sure you leave in plenty of time – aiming to arrive at least 15 minutes beforehand. It’ll look so much better to the interviewer.
Don’t slouch in your seat or shuffle while you walk
Body language can quickly form the interviewer’s initial opinion of you, letting them know how confident you are from the get-go. It’s important to walk into the building and meeting room with good posture and your head held high. Just be careful – there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Similarly, try not to slouch or yawn while answering questions; this could suggest that you aren’t interested or you’re bored. Instead, try to sit up straight and keep your arms uncrossed.
Don’t offer a weak handshake
Your handshake is very telling about you as a person. If you offer a weak handshake, you’ll instantly seem meek and afraid. But if you grasp their hand too tight and put exaggerated movement into the handshake, you’ll definitely come on too strong. You want to find a nice balance here, affirming that you’re confident and ready. Also remember to release the handshake – you could be so concerned with finding the right balance that you completely forget to let go. That could be a very embarrassing situation. Practise at home with another person if you’re a little nervous about it.
Don’t avoid eye contact
Eye contact is another grey area when it comes to interviews. You don’t want to avoid eye contact because that’ll seem like you lack confidence, but you don’t want to give too much eye contact because then you’ll enter the realm of weird staring. Finding a balance when it comes to eye contact is important because it shows a mutual respect. It shows that you’re listening, you’re interested in what they have to say, and that you can hold your own in a formal conversation. It’s advised to maintain eye contact for about ten seconds at a time – but don’t forget to blink.
Don’t keep your phone on
Imagine that you’re sitting in an interview and suddenly you hear the sound of your favourite song from the ’90s blasting through your trouser pocket. That’s a pretty embarrassing situation to be in. To avoid this huge amount of humiliation, the answer is simple: turn your phone off. Or, if you can’t bear to part with your phone for more than the ten seconds it takes for you to walk outside and turn it back on, at least put it on silent. No, we don’t mean vibrate. That’s equally embarrassing. We mean silent. Not only is it embarrassing for you, but it’s also incredibly unprofessional in an interview.
Don’t come across as arrogant or self-righteous
Arrogance is the key to repelling an employer. They don’t want to hear about how you’re perfect just the way you are or that you’ve got no room for improvement. You are not entitled to this job role – it’s something that you need to earn. Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone. You know it and your potential employer knows it. So don’t be afraid to show that you’re willing to learn more from the company and that you want to grow your abilities using them as a support system. You can show that you’re proud of your achievements in an interview, of course. Just make sure to not overdo it.
Don’t complain about current or past employers
No-one likes a complainer. Especially not interviewers. Your interview isn’t a place to vent about your life and your job – it’s your opportunity to change your life with a new job. As much as you may have grievances towards your current (or past) employer, they have nothing to do with this interview. This is about your potential employer, so make sure you steer the conversation away from your negativity. Instead, try to remain as positive as possible. You want to prove that you’ll fit into the team well, not create unnecessary drama, cause disruptions, or dampen team morale.
Don’t interrupt the interviewer
Don’t you hate it when people interrupt you mid-story? It’s natural human instinct to feel annoyed by interruptions, so it’s important that you remember that your interviewer is a person too – not just the face of a company. The ability to listen is one of the most desirable attributes in a potential employee, so make sure you don’t interrupt the person interviewing you. You may feel like you’re being enthusiastic, but in reality it’s coming across as rude. Not only that, but if you’re constantly talking, you could miss something important that they’re trying to tell you. The most embarrassing situation would be asking a question that they’d already gone through earlier on.