What Not to Do on an Interview

Authored by Sharon Carter in Careers and Employment 
Published on 11-11-2009

Going on an interview can be extremely nerve wrecking. A person never knows what to expect when they step into a job interview. The basic job interview questions can easily be rehearsed beforehand. However, there are some things that a person should never do on an interview.

Inappropriate clothing: The clothes you wear to an interview can either work for you or against you. Clothes really do make the man. A person must always remember to wear business attire to a job interview. Jeans, sneakers, sandals, shorts, tanks and t-shirts are off-limits. The clothes you wear on a night out with your friends are not acceptable for any type of interview. It would also be wise to stay away from bright colors and patterns. Flashy jewelry is great to wear when you’re hanging out with friends, but they aren’t appropriate accessories for a job interview. If all else fails and you’re not sure what to wear, pop in a DVD of The Office or Mad Men.

Wait: Never assume you know what you’re supposed to do when you get to your interview. Someone at the company, namely the secretary or receptionist, will give you instructions. Always wait for someone to show you to your seat. Just because a seat is vacant, it doesn’t mean it isn’t reserved for someone else. Waiting for instructions is a company’s way of testing your ability to take direction. Even though an interview may start at a set time, you are being critiqued from the moment you step through the door.

Laughing Constantly: Companies always look for an employee who fits in well with the other employees. Having a good sense of humor is a great attribute, but being a laughing hyena is not. Laughing uncontrollably during an interview is a sign of nervousness. If the interviewer makes a joke, it’s okay to laugh. But keep in mind that this is your potential boss and not your best friend from college. A small chuckle or smile is acceptable during an interview, but keep them both to a minimum. It is important to make sure that you laugh with your mouth closed. The only people that need to see the inside of your mouth are you and your doctor.

No Personal Information: Remaining professional at all times, is essential to nailing any interview. “Could you please tell me something about yourself? “ is one of the most common questions asked during a job interview. This question is not an invitation to talk about your cheating boyfriend or sick cat. The interviewer wants to get a better sense of your extracurricular activities and life goals. If you do have a personal experience that relates to the position, then feel free to divulge that information. Keep in mind that you’re being interviewed by an employer and not Dr. Phil.

It’s cliché to tell someone to just be themselves on an interview. A job interview is just like going on a casting call for a movie. If you don’t have the best performance, you’re not going to get the job.


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