What not to do at a job interview, continued

Category: Career


A job interview is your opportunity to make a good, lasting impression, while standing out from the other qualified candidates. While there may not be a sure-fire way to guarantee you nail that next job interview, there are some things you definitely want to avoid at all costs. If you have an upcoming job interview, you do not want to: 

Bend the truth

Lying about anything (skills, education, job experience, and so on) in hopes that it will increase your chances at getting the job can come back to haunt you. Even if you’re thinking about just bending the truth a bit, don’t. Be honest and upfront about everything you’re asked.

Have poor body language

Be aware of your body language during your job interview and avoid anything that could suggest you’re nervous, defensive, distracted, or that you just don’t care. Failing to make eye contact, not smiling, slouching, crossing your arms, fidgeting, and offering a flimsy headshake are all examples of things you should avoid.

Badmouth a current or former employer

You’ll likely be asked about your current job and why you want to leave, or if you’re unemployed, why your last job ended. Even if you harbor some negative feelings towards a past or current employer, keep them to yourself and think of a better way to answer the question. The last thing you want to do is badmouth anyone you’ve worked for; it will make you come across as very unprofessional. 

Forget to turn off your phone

Phone calls, notifications, and other noises from your cell phone can be extremely distracting during a job interview—not to mention rude. Even worse? Taking a phone call or answering a message during an interview. Remember to put your cell phone on silent, or power it down completely, before your interview begins.

Give poor answers

Of course, another thing you want to avoid doing during your interview is give poor answers. Even if you’re the best candidate for the job, you probably won’t be chosen if you don’t communicate well throughout the interview. Even though it can be difficult to anticipate what you’ll be asked, and you don’t want to sound overly rehearsed, it’s still important to be prepared as much as possible. If you’re taken off-guard with a particular question and you’re not quite sure how to answer, it’s better to ask if you can come back to that question later on, rather than give a poor answer.

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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, legal, or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: applying for a job, job interviews

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