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Seven Things That Can Ruin a Job Interview

Seven Things That Can Ruin a Job Interview

Avoiding these seven interview killers will put you that much closer to obtaining the job or internship you desire.

Kizzy Preston

July 31, 2014

Whether you have graduated from college and are looking for your first job, or you are still in school looking to land a great internship, you will need to successfully interview for the position.

Doing one wrong thing during an interview can cost you the position you have applied for.

Here are some things you should avoid doing if you want to score the job:

1. Over-sharing:

Some interviewers have a friendly demeanor. They make you feel comfortable as if the two of you are old friends. They may make you feel like you can tell them anything. This does not mean that you actually should.

Do not under any circumstances share information about your illnesses, children (if you have any), religious affiliations, sexual orientation, or any other subject that employers by law cannot question you about during an interview.

Often times, interviewees offer so much information that they talk themselves right out of a position. Instead, stay focused on showcasing ways you would excel as an employee if hired.

2. Being a bad listener:

It is important to listen during an interview. Allow the interviewer to complete his or her question before answering. Be sure to answer the actual question posed, and not just ramble off a canned answer or a completely unrelated answer.

Save that great backpacking through Europe story you have – unless it directly answers the interviewer’s question and further demonstrates what a great employee you would make.

3. Being too aggressive:

When at an interview, remember that you are there to prove yourself as a potential employee.

While in the waiting room, continually asking the receptionist how long it will be before the interviewer comes out to get you can (and, likely will) be seen as rude, and that rudeness will most likely be relayed to the interviewer (remember, they work together and people tend to talk).

Don’t attempt to take over the interview. Wait to see what the interviewer needs from you, or what questions they may have before rattling off your experience or handing them certifications or other documents.

Let the interviewer guide the interview to show that you can follow directions well – they should feel that they are in the position of power, not the other way around.

4. Having a bad attitude:

Arriving at a job interview with an obvious bad attitude is the fastest way to ruin a job interview. You are asking for a job or internship and you should never act as if the interviewer is wasting your time.

Eye rolling, heavy sighing, folded arms, short answers and a sharp tone of voice are all signs that you think you are doing the interviewer a favor by showing up to the interview.

Be as pleasant as you can be during an interview, and you will stand out as someone who will work well with others, which is something that most employers desire.

5. Late arrival:

Arriving late for an interview—especially without calling to inform the interviewer—shows not only a lack of promptness, but also a lack of respect for the hiring manager’s time.

If you cannot make it to an interview on time, what does that say to the hiring manager regarding your potential job performance? They likely won’t take the chance to give someone a position that can’t even show up to an interview on time.

6. Not taking the interview seriously:

Whether you are interviewing for an internship or a job with a company that has a laid back atmosphere, you still need to take the interview process seriously.

Any opportunity you have to interview for a new position should be approached in a professional manner. Dress professionally. Arrive on time. Show respect.

7. Being too cocky:

Even if you have a 4.0 GPA and more experience than required for a certain position, that doesn’t mean you can get cocky. Confidence is one thing but cockiness is another.

Approaching an interview with an attitude that says, “Why is this interview even necessary when I know I already have the job?” is a sure fire way to be eliminated from the competition.

You never really know if you have the job until you receive an official offer.

Show up to every interview confident in your abilities but, at the same time, remain humble and grateful for the given opportunities.

Avoiding these seven interview killers will put you that much closer to obtaining the job or internship you desire.


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