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30 Ways to Ruin an Interview in 30 Seconds

10.25.16   |   Job Search & Career   |   Sean Cashman, Division Manager at Treeline, Inc.

30 ways to ruin an interview and not get the jobInterviews are tough enough and there are plenty of things you can do to better your chances of success.  This is a list of “Do Not’s” for you to avoid as you consider your next career move. If you find yourself doing any of the following, you are not helping yourself get the job.

30 interview blunders you should stop doing right now:
 

1. You are late – If you are consistently late for everything – stop it.  Buy a watch and leave earlier.  Your competition will be on time and they will get the job.
 

2. You don’t have any copies of your resume – You may meet more team members at the interview.  Come prepared and don’t let a copy of your resume cost you an offer.

not making eye contact at a job interview

3. You don’t stand and shake hands when someone enters a room  – This is a first impression, you only have one chance to make it. Stop scrolling through social media posts on your phone when you are waiting in the lobby. Be present and greet everyone you meet. 
 

4. You don’t have a functioning pen – It was a bad thing in high school, same goes for a professional setting. Have a pen, especially if you want to take notes.
 

5. You don’t wear professional attire – You don’t have the job yet. Casual may be office attire, but you aren’t part of the company yet. Dress to impress.
 

6. You wear a Daffy Duck tie/tights  – Some call it an ice breaker, some call it a deal breaker. Show your good sense of humor through your conversation, not your attire.



 

7. You don’t shave (for the male candidates) – Beards are in style, that’s fine…but clean up the neck hair.
 

8. You come tired and hungry or as some call it, hangry – No one is at their best when they are tired and hungry. Tip:  Don’t just eat a Snickers.

Being rude at a job interview

9. You aren’t polite – You are trying to show what it is like to work with you.  Being rude is never a requirement.  Trust me.
 

10. You bring a large iced coffee with you – You are going to an interview. Hydrate and caffeinate before your meeting, not during.
 

11. You’re chewing gum  – It’s an interview, not a dug out. It’s distracting to have a conversation with someone chomping on gum. Take a breath mint before the interview.
 

12. You don’t smile – You want the job, right? Then smile and show them your positive attitude. Don’t go into an interview in a bad mood.
 

13. You act annoyed when someone is late – This is a tough one but it’s not worth it.  The interview is the employer’s agenda.  Remember that. Exercise patience and flexibility.

not doing research before your job interview

14. You don’t research the company you are interviewing – Know why you are there.  You are not interviewing for “A Job”…you are interviewing for “The Job.”
 

15. You don’t research the people you are meeting – Know who you are meeting – you may end up spending 40-60 hours per week with them.
 

16. You bring your cell phone, don’t silence it, and put it on the table during the interview – It’s like Murphy’s Law – if it can ring, it will ring…and no one is psyched about it. Turn it off and put it out of sight.
 

17. You answer a text message while you are in the interview – You are there to meet and talk with people at this company, not chat with your social media following.
 

18. You sit at the head of the conference table – You can do this when you own your own company. To do this in an interview is bad form.
 

19. You never make eye contact – You are trying to build a relationship with these people, so engage and be present.
 

20. You don’t even try to build rapport – Companies do not hire candidates.  People hire people.  Make sure you like the people who may want to hire you.

asking about salary in a job interview

21. You ask about the salary and benefits first.  – Selfishly this is important to you but is not most important to the interviewer. Find out what matters to them. Satisfy those needs and then talk about money later in the process.
 

22. You talk about politics – Do we really need to say more? Please don’t.
 

23. You bash your former employer – Every experience, good or bad, has gotten you to where you are now.  Be thankful and grateful for what you learned. Don’t speak negatively about a former/current employer
 

24. You don’t ask questions about the company’s top producers – If you have no plans of being a top producer, you are in the wrong line of work.  Educate yourself on what the top performers look like so you can get there faster.
 

25. You tell the hiring manager you want their job – Career advancement is a great thing – do not threaten the person interviewing you by saying you want to be in their role.  
 

26. You don’t ask any questions – You are trying to figure out if you want to work there, if you are not asking questions, you are showing zero interest.


rambling during a job interview27. You give long-winded indirect answers to direct questions – If you are given a direct question, respond with a direct answer.  Be yourself and take accountability – it is a lot more compelling.
 

28. You don’t close – Ask about next steps in the interview process. Always Be Closing (ABC).
 

29. You don’t send thank you notes  - Simple courtesy that will make or break you.  If you think that thank you notes do not matter, I can do another blog on the hundreds of candidates that have been blown out of the interview processes simply because they skipped this.

{Use this free template: How to Write a Thank You Note After a Job Interview}
 

30. You don’t follow up –  If you are not doing this in interviews, your competition is and they are more likely to get the offer.

If you found yourself nodding in agreement while reading this blog – you need to rethink your interview strategy.  A lot of the items on this list are small, obvious things…don’t let them cost you your next career opportunity. 

Something not on the list that you think should be? Leave a comment to add another interview “no-no”.
 

Watch the video below to help you ace the sales interview.

 

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