What Not To Do In An Interview

An interview can be a nerve-racking and tense experience, especially if you have your heart set on the job in question. With careful planning, you can ensure you ace the interview so that you have the best chance of securing the position. After all, there is no such thing as too much preparation. With that being said, read on to discover what not to do in an interview:

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  • Looking down at the floor or to the side of the interviewer – Making eye contact with the interviewer is of paramount importance. Recruiters have stated that one of the main reasons for rejecting a candidate is that they were unable to make eye contact.

  • Not asking questions – Employers want to see that you are interested enough in the position, and thus asking well-placed questions can make a positive impression.

  • Speaking negatively about your current employer – No matter how bad your current employer is, you should never badmouth them, as this will only reflect badly on you.

  • Falsifying information – Under no circumstance should you ever lie during an interview. Not only does it look bad if you are caught out, but it is a potential legal liability to both you and your future employer. Not only could it lead to you losing the job if you get it, but it could result in a legal lawsuit.

  • Giving textbook responses – Remember, these guys have conducted numerous interviews, and thus clichéd statements such as “I’m a real people person” do not impress. It is vital to show your personality; try to be honest and open about your strengths and skills.

  • Dressing inappropriately  - Did you know that around one-third of bosses know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone? Therefore, dressing inappropriately can rule you out of the running before you even answer your first question.

  • Allowing inappropriate behaviour – No job is worth being subject to inappropriate behaviour from the interviewer. Hire an employment attorney if this has happened to you.

  • Missing chances to prove yourself – If you do not respond to questions with ESR (Example, Specifics, Results) answers, you miss out on the chance to ace the interview.

  • Failing to do enough research on the company – One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is failing to research the company. You need to show that you have an understanding of the company’s history and culture, and why it appeals to you.

  • Using your phone – Your phone should be tucked away in your bag and it should be on silent. You should never use it during an interview.

  • Over-explaining why you lost your last job – Over-explaining why you lost your last job is one of the most common mistakes made in a job interview. You don’t want to dwell on this too much or draw too much attention to it.

  • Turning up late – Turning up twenty minutes late and blaming it on bad traffic will not go down well. Leave early and give yourself more than enough time to get there. If the building is unfamiliar, do the journey a couple of days beforehand.

1 Response to “What Not To Do In An Interview”


  • This is really good advice. I was recently part of a panel at a job seekers event in Dandenong and what Marc has written here is a pretty good summary of what was discussed at the 2 hour event between the panel members and the audience.

    The other things I would add is that there is a lot of research you can do.
    - Prepare for the interview. Go over the materials you are asked to provide. Try and see them the way you think the employer might see them. Be ready for questions in areas that might need explanation but as Marc said, don’t over do it. Preparation helps you to be both concise and clear.
    - Look up the company online and learn about them, what they do, their products and services, where they are located, how big they are, how long they have been around?
    - Look up employees online. Join LinkedIn and use it to find employees and see what they do and what their profile looks like. This shows you the characteristics of a people they have already employed.
    - If it is a smaller business or you are meeting a manager or owner, learn as much about them as you can. Why did the business begin?
    - If you have examples of your work, bring them. Even if they don’t seem directly relevant, they show what you have already been able to do.
    - Check out if they have a dress code (look at profiles, visit if you can) and dress like that. Look like you already work there.

    As Marc wrote, the 90 seconds can be crucial. The first 5 seconds are the most crucial.

    Ray Keefe
    Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd
    Designing electronics products intended for manufacture in Australia
    2018 Winner IoT Innovation for Australia
    Award Winning Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development

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