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What NOT To Do In a Job Interview

June 26, 2015

So you’ve crafted your resume, diligently filled out your application, and waited to hear back…and then you did. Now you have an interview! Awesome!

You know this is your time to shine. You plan to impress your interviewers with your experience, skills and personality. You want to show them your very best and prove why you deserve this job more than any other candidate. We understand - you don't want to ruin this opportunity.

And while many tell you how to succeed in a job interview, here are some helpful tips on what NOT to do:

Do NOT blow it off in any way. Make sure you are fully awake and alert for the interview. Give yourself extra time to get there in case you hit traffic or are stopped at every red light. Dress professionally and make every effort to look put-together and polished. Prepare ahead of time.

Do NOT slouch, or keep your arms crossed, or act bored. Sara, a hiring expert from American Express, said: “Sitting up, keeping arms uncrossed, and leaning in can be silent cues that you are relaxed and interested in the conversation. All of these actions show engagement and can be strong positive indicators to interviewers.”

Do NOT walk in unprepared. You may think you can succeed on the fly, but it’s always better to think through everything before the interview so you can be confident and well-spoken. Stuttering, using lots of empty filler words, and meandering in your responses will not impress your interviewers.

Do NOT come empty-handed. Bring copies of your resume with you, bring any examples of your work, bring your portfolio, bring a printed list of your references or letters of recommendation, etc. Anything you can have to show your qualifications and back up what you are saying will be helpful in selling yourself.

Do NOT act entitled. Showing your gratitude for the interview makes a fantastic first impression. Acting like your interviewers are just lucky to be in your presence because of how amazing you are probably won’t make the same impression. Nell, hiring expert for Pitney Bowles, said: “Never forget the importance of thanking people for their time. Not just the hiring manger, everyone that you interacted with in the interview process.”

Do NOT pretend to be someone you aren’t or pretend you have experience you don’t. Stephanie, a hiring expert from AT&T, said: “A lasting impression is made when a solid human connection is formed.  That connection is only going to happen when you are authentically being yourself!” The company wanted to interview you, so don’t try to act like anyone or anything that you aren’t.

After your interview, do NOT call every single day to check on the status of things. Be patient. It’s a great idea to follow up in the week after your interview with a handwritten thank you note or a gracious email, but then just wait.  “I would not recommend following up with them more than once unless a couple more weeks pass and you still haven’t heard anything,” Ashley, a hiring expert from Cardinal Health, said.


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