An interview is one of the most important elements of the application process. Interviews give you the opportunity to convince an employer that you’re perfect for the role and help you to stand out from other applicants. Lots of interview mistakes are easily avoidable and will make a huge difference to the success of your application. Here are 10 of the worst things you can do at an interview!

1.       Being Late

One of the worst things you can do is be late for your interview. If you’re late its highly likely you won’t even be interviewed. If your interview does go ahead you will have created a bad first impression and it will be much harder for you to convince the employer you’re right for the job.

2.      Being Rude

Make sure that you remain polite throughout your interview. Whatever you do, don’t be condescending, don’t swear and don’t insult the hiring manager. Whether you like the interviewer or not, ensure that you remain professional to create the best first impression.

3.      Underdressing

If you haven’t been specifically told to dress casually for your interview then don’t. If in doubt, always dress formally! Even if you’re the only candidate dressed smartly your formal clothing will help to create a great first impression and help you stand out from other applicants. If you show up to your interview underdressed you can appear unprofessional and unprepared.

4.      Not Listening

Make sure that you maintain your focus throughout the interview. Whether your interview lasts 10 minutes or an hour, it’s important that you keep your focus throughout. Tuning out half way through an interview is obvious to the hiring manager and you won’t get the job. Listen to everything the interviewer has to say, as it can help you establish if the company is the right fit for you and will highlight any questions you’d like answering before you leave.

5.      Being Miserable

Even if you aren’t typically a bubbly person, it’s important that you come across as positive and interested in the role. If you’re miserable in your interview it will show a lack of enthusiasm towards the job and create the impression that you don’t really want the job.

6.      Complaining About Your Previous Employer

Whether you left your last place of employment on a positive or negative note, it’s important that you don’t complain about your previous employer in your interview. No matter how justified your complaints are it can give a bad first impression. Your interview is an opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for a role and explain how your skills can be transferred to the role, not a chance to list your negative experiences, which won’t really say much about your ability to perform the job well.

7.      Being Unprepared

Make sure that you at least reread the job description before you get to your interview. Lack of preparation can make your answers generic and make it much harder for you to stand out. Rereading the job description and carrying out some research on the company can help you to personalise your answers and demonstrate, more effectively, how transferable your skills and experiences are to the role.

8.      Being Overconfident

No job is ever a sure thing, so turning up to an interview with a cocky attitude thinking you’ve already got the job can create a bad first impression. A bad attitude can lead an employer to question your ability to fit into the company’s culture and you can come across as difficult to work with.  

9.      Talking About Your Weaknesses

An interview is your chance to sell yourself to an employer. Listing all your weaknesses will not help you to land the job; in fact, it will likely deter managers from hiring you. Even if you’re listing weaknesses to show your willingness to improve, it’s still likely to leave a bad first impression and can harm your chances of progressing.

10.  Texting or Receiving a Call

Don’t use your phone during or while you’re waiting for your interview as it can make you look disinterested and unprofessional. If you’ve taken your phone make sure that it’s on silent so that you don’t have any awkward moments when your ringtone cuts off the hiring manager mid question. It’s extremely important not to take calls during an interview - taking a call will show lack of respect and interest in the job. Using your phone during an interview is bad manners and it’s likely you won’t get the role.

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