September 22, 2022

What not to do in an interview

It could be your first interview, or you’ve already done a few but still haven’t landed the job, even with the best resume. These are some very important Dos and Don’ts for any interview.

It could be your first interview, or you’ve already done a few but still haven’t landed the job, even with the best resume. First impressions matter a lot, and the outcome of your interview depends a lot on how you represent yourself. You might not have the best experience and skill set, but if the interviewer recognizes potential in you, you are halfway there! These are some very important Dos and Don’ts for any interview. Some might seem so trivial but believe it or not, candidates fail due to such silly mistakes.

  1. Be there on time!

This means not too early and definitely not late. If you arrive there too early, sometimes the interviewer will feel pressure to speed up the interview with another possible candidate. And if you show up late, it might show your lack of commitment, poor planning, and disrespecting other peoples’ time. 

  1. Do your homework

Always do some research about the company where you are applying for a job. This will mean that you are serious about the job and that you’ve done your homework. Another thing you could do is look up your interviewer and do research on him/her, and learn about their background as well. It is always good to come prepared. 

  1. Don’t forget to ask questions

Even though you are at an interview and being interviewed, it is ok to ask your own set of questions, to get a better picture of the company, its products, projects, culture, how they organize teams… But leave the questions about money and free time for later, not early in an interview. 

  1. Avoid checking the time

This might come off as being rude. Respect your interviewer's time, and make sure to plan your day accordingly. Because you might give the impression that you aren’t that interested in the job and that you have somewhere more important to be. So always make sure to plan your commitments and responsibilities properly on the day of your interview.  

  1. Make sure to bring a few extra copies of your Resume

You never know how many interviewers might be there, so you’d want to bring a few extra copies just in case. It is such a small effort from your side but can mean a lot for the interviewers. It shows that you are there to do some business! 

  1. Do not get too personal or familiar

Stay professional at all times. Even though someone is a friendly and open person, this is strictly business. No inappropriate jokes, cursing or becoming too personal or familiar. This doesn’t only apply for a first job interview, but also additional follow ups and perhaps some meeting over a cup of coffee. Keep it professional at all times. 

  1. Dress the part

Whatever you do, do not dress inappropriately. There is a place and time for every outfit, and you must make sure that you are dressed accordingly. First impression counts a lot, and you might be misunderstood and not considered if you come to the interview dressed inappropriately. 

  1. No trash-talk about your current employer

It is not unusual for employees to have negative opinions about their previous employer, but even so, keep it to yourself. No trash-talking, no negative comments, just be as neutral as possible. This can be a real red flag for the interviewer if you start talking negatively about your previous employer, because what will stop you from doing the same to them when you leave?

  1. Be accountable for your choices and actions

We are all human and we all make mistakes. Sometimes it’s someone else’s fault and other times it’s your own fault. Don’t blame it on others, because even if it was someone else’s fault they are still a part of your team. Be accountable and learn from your mistakes. 

  1. Wait before you discuss money or time off

The big questions! How much money will I be paid and how much free time I’ll have! It is ok to discuss these things, but not straight away. Do some research about the average salary in your industry and ask around so that you know some estimates. Don’t try to oversell yourself but neither to undersell. Ask for a slightly bigger number and that way you will have some room for negotiation. Also it is better to negotiate a salary range rather than a specific number, because again, it will give you more freedom in the future. 

  1. Avoid answering your phone 

Unless it is really an emergency- do not answer your phone. Put it on silent and call back after the interview. The interviews don’t usually last that long, and you want to make the best impression possible. Answering your phone in the middle of an interview might come off very rude and irresponsible. 

  1. Speak clearly

No mumbling, rumbling and giving unclear answers. If you are asked a question, answer it without circling around it and adding some unnecessary details. 

  1. Being confident is ok, but not arrogant 

It is good to be confident, but there is a fine line between being arrogant and having just the right amount of confidence. Try to be humble, and answer with respect. Do not show off your skills because even if you are better than other candidates, your arrogance will serve you poorly.. So keep yourself grounded.

Even though some of the tips were no-brainers when it comes to dos and don’ts, you would be surprised how many candidates lose their shot at a job. This is a simple reminder of what to pay attention to when in an interview. And don’t worry, most people get nervous, just try to keep cool and follow these tips and you’ll be fine. If you have any doubt on how to write your CV or Resume, check out a quick guide that will explain everything in a few steps. And if you want to crush your interview, you might find some tips on how to answer interview questions properly. Make sure to follow Vanilla HR for more tips on landing a job but also plenty of advice on managing Human Resources and much more!

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