Article 2 – Avoid these job interview howlers   


This is a complete run down of the worst mistakes you can make at an interview which will set your application right back. 

Turn your mobile phone off: 

Turn the phone off. Don’t even leave it on silent. Do not even contemplate answering it or looking at a text message.  

Don’t get the interviewer’s name wrong: 

If you don’t know or are unsure of the interviewer’s name or one of his colleagues then just avoid using it. If they have told you their name then it could be awkward if you ask them to repeat it. If you then get it wrong it does look bad and people hate this! 

It is easy to avoid using their names through the interview and this will go unnoticed. It is a safer route. 

Don’t disagree or argue with the interviewer: 

Win the battle but lose the war. If you start arguing with an interviewer you may as well kiss the job goodbye. It labels you as argumentative and reduces the ego of the interviewer. 

Don’t turn up late: 

This is a basic error which can be avoided. If you are going to be late call ahead in plenty of time explaining your reason. With cell phones there is no reason not to inform them of your tardiness. Don’t forget to apologise profusely! It is not the end of the world if you have a good excuse and you have also informed them that you will be late.  

Don’t criticise former employees or employers: 

Apart from anything else criticising is seen subconsciously as whining and is negative. You need to keep the tone of the interview upbeat and positive. 

Don’t blurt out answers: 

Take your time to answer the questions, especially if they are difficult ones. You can delay answering by asking the interviewer to repeat the question or by taking a sip of water. 

Don’t answer the wrong question: 

Make sure you listen to the question and answer the question asked. 

Don’t reply with irrelevant information: 

The interviewer is not going to think much of you if you waste their time waffling on about irrelevancies. 

Don’t compare yourself with other candidates: 

Comparing yourself with other candidates will inevitably lead you to being negative about them, whether directly or indirectly. 

Don’t lie: 

Everyone embellishes the truth and highlights their best point but do not be tempted to lie. You will inevitably be found out. You do not have to. You have the capability to succeed without resorting to lying. 

Don’t be modest about your attributes: 

If you are modest then the interviewer will not know what you have to offer. You need to practise boasting and repeating your personal pitch with examples. 

Don’t be quiet or shy: 

So much success in an interview is all about non-verbal communication. You need to have the air of quiet confidence and speak up. This is true of whatever role you do. 

Don’t swear: 

It just sounds unprofessional even if you are in an industry where it is common place. 

Don’t look bored: 

Don’t yawn, look at your watch or appear bored. Stay alert and interested throughout the interview. 

Don’t discuss salary or benefits: 

Do not approach the subject of salary or benefits unless the interviewer raises them first. Until you have a firm job offer you do not want to be discussing salary. Additionally you do not want to start negotiating or suggesting a starting salary. The interview is not the time or the place. 

Don’t discuss anything controversial: 

Stay well clear of discussing anything that could be controversial or polarise opinion. On delicate subjects like race, religion, sex, colour, politics, age, nationality or even sports teams people can have very entrenched views. You are only likely to enter a minefield and probably end up losing!