Here Are 10 Things You Should Not Do In An Interview

John Krautzel
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Selling yourself to a potential employer can be a daunting endeavor. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to overcome feelings of anxiety and self-doubt. In addition to planning the positive aspects of your interview, it's important that you also consider common errors so that you don't make them. Here are 10 of the biggest job interview blunders.

1. Poor Clothing Choice

First impressions matter. Think about the position you're seeking, and dress the part. If you're applying for an outdoor landscaping position, a suit and tie might not be necessary. If you're seeking an office position, find a balance between business casual and formal attire. Don't sacrifice comfort for style. You're better off being cool and comfortable in a polo shirt than sweating in a full suit.

2. Forgetting What's On Your Resume

The hiring manager is going to ask you about your resume during the job interview. Make sure you know exactly what it says. From the dates you were employed to your typical tasks and duties, spend some time brushing up so you're never caught without an answer.

3. Poor Eye Contact

When seeking employment, sometimes small details can make a big difference. Eye contact is a factor that can make or break you during a job interview. After all, maintaining good eye contact lets others know you're attentive and confident.

4. Checking Your Phone

One of the worst mistakes you can make during a job interview is to take a call or check a text. Put your phone on silent before walking into the building, and don't touch your phone until you've left.

5. Displaying Arrogance

There's a fine line between being confident and arrogant. You want to sell yourself and be proud of your achievements, but you don't want to come off as haughty. Be humble but truthful. Recognize the value you bring to the organization, and stick to the facts.

6. Lying

You might be tempted to fabricate the truth when you're trying to stand out from the crowd. Don't do it. Even if you're not fact-checked during the job interview, there's a strong probability that even a little white lie will come back to haunt you eventually.

7. Being Overly Professional

When seeking employment, it's critical that you present yourself as a professional, but it's possible to go too far. The person interviewing you is a human, so don't be afraid to smile and be genuine.

8. Poor Posture

Again, little details can reflect poorly on you. Don't slouch in your seat or fidget. Avoid crossing your arms and tapping your feet. Maintain an air of calm alertness.

9. Failing to Learn About the Organization

Whether you have years of experience or you're starting a brand new career, your skills alone aren't enough to get you the job. Hiring managers want people who fit into the company's culture. Learn the ins and outs of the company to ensure you're prepared to answer questions about the organization.

10. Putting On a Show

Be yourself. Experienced hiring managers can recognize authenticity, so never pretend to be someone you're not.

Try to learn as much as possible from each job interview you attend. Do your best to avoid these blunders to increase your chance of getting hired.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at


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  • LINDA C.
    LINDA C.

    All of the above us very correct

  • Paul B.
    Paul B.

    all ten are sound advice



  • Deborah Y.
    Deborah Y.

    Very helpful

  • Kathleen Lucey
    Kathleen Lucey

    An interesting set of recommendations. I would add to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses ....and turn your weaknesses into strengths! Compensation is important but this is something that you do later. Yes, you can be yourself, but be your BEST self.

  • Isa Greene
    Isa Greene

    Do not ask about pay. Learn the job and the pay will be an incentive to meaningful work.

  • Dan Balkwill
    Dan Balkwill

    Just be yourself ! Wish to spend your working career as some one else?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Michele Taylor thanks for your comment. Certainly you can laugh at a joke - as long as it's a decent joke. The interviewer knows that you are nervous. Who knows - he/she may be just as nervous. It's very nerve racking to be on either side of this equation. For the nervous energy, just take some slow, even breaths. Remember, this is going to be over in a short while. For a momentary lose of confidence, take a minute and look at your resume or the information that you brought with you. Then, if you can, ask for clarification on the question being asked as that will give you a little bit more time to gain your confidence back. Look - everyone gets nervous when it comes to an interview. They know that. If you don't know an answer, just admit that you don't and move on. If, after the interview, the answer comes back to you - you could mention it in your thank you note. Prior to the interview, you might want to consider doing a mock interview with a trusted friend. That might help to alleviate some of your stress. All the best.

  • MIchele Taylor
    MIchele Taylor

    What is protocol about laughing and making jokes during the interview. ? How do you handle nervous energy or momentarily lose of confidence? I have l

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Patrick H thanks for your comment. When you are at an interview, all of this is under your control. Prior to the interview, research the company... find out everything that you can about them. As for the rest of these - they are totally under your control. Clothing? That is your first impression and it needs to be the best. Try going to a thrift store or Goodwill and find appropriate clothes for the interview. For the rest of these tips - have a friend do a mock interview with you and have him/her record it. That way you can see what the interviewer will see and you make any corrections necessary. I wish you all the best on your next interview.

  • Patrick H.
    Patrick H.

    I don't think that is easy to control and what if you don't have the clothing to were

  • Robyn Jarvis
    Robyn Jarvis

    Great advice.

  • pjagadeesan p.
    pjagadeesan p.

    Business tactically customer satisfaction company manogram valuble products and quality and standardisation thank you

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