7 Things You Should Absolutely Avoid In A Job Interview

I worked as a Recruiter for five years. While the job had a ton of perks, the biggest growth I encountered was being able to learn the human psyche. Recruiters are kind of like bartenders: after enough questioning, people will just divulge their whole life story to you.

Being a recruiter allowed me to understand what people are looking for when it comes to hiring and making a company successful, all the while teaching me that there are a lot of people who don’t know how to act in an interview.

Here are 7 Things You Should Avoid in Job Interviews:

1. Don’t be late for your interview. Showing up late to your interview shows the recruiter that you are inconsiderate of their time and resources. Additionally, showing up late without a solid excuse shows that you’re a poor planner and may suffer with time management skills. These are assets recruiters look for when making their hiring decision. 

2. Don’t be fake. When asked: Why do you want to work here? Be honest. Don’t just tell them what you think they want to hear. Do your research about the role you’re interviewing for and the company and find one thing that spoke to you. What do you like about the company’s culture? Why this field? Recruiters know when you’re just feeding us a line. If you’re looking for a job because you need to support your family, or you’re looking for a job because it’s in your field but you have no experience, tell us. Often times, it’s a person’s character and drive that lands them the job more than their educational background and experience.

3. Don’t pretend you’re not flawed. The best way to address your flaws is by laying them out on the table and following them up with steps you’re taking to fix them. Identifying flaws and ways to remedy them are crucial to understanding how you will work in a team environment and subsequent difficult situations and team members.

4. Don’t second-guess yourself. Perhaps the most important aspect of an interview is not overwhelming yourself with trying to impress us. A job interview is not just the employer analyzing if you’re a good fit – it’s for you to see if you like us as a company! No one goes into a job with zero experience. Even if it’s your first job ever, you still have life experience! By second-guessing yourself, all you’re doing is eliminating the opportunity for us to get to know you and you’re a person whose worth knowing!

5. Don’t be a ‘yes man.’ When I started out in the industry, I went on an interview at a local magazine. It was my dream job! Except for the demeaning salary and the recruiter insulted my experience. I sat there and begged the editor for the job I didn’t really want. Never be rude in an interview, but don’t go along with things if it’s really an issue for you. Speak up about the job you want. Don’t settle for anything less. This shows us you have career goals and what kind of workload you can handle. We need to know what your limits are before we hire you.

6. Don’t come unprepared! Have a mock interview the night before. This helps to flush out any accomplishments or problems you’ve encountered at previous jobs and how you can relay that to the recruiter the next morning. Doing your research about one attribute the company has can pay off in your job interview! It gives you a boost among other competitors. It also helps to get you thinking about how your experience could tie into what our company’s mission and goals are.

7. Don’t be unprofessional. We want to hire someone who is going to be able to perform the job duties effectively and efficiently. Always come prepared for your interview and realize that more than anything, you’re just here for a conversation. If you don’t get this job, there will be another one so don’t stress out.

Have enough self-respect for yourself and the company to act appropriately. Your personal life may be funny to share with your girlfriends over cocktails, but it’s not appropriate for a job interview. The bottom line is that when it comes to a job interview, avoid any risky behavior that could give the job to someone else. It kind of defeats the entire point.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


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