A job interview can be a really stressful occasion. Trying to convey how much you want the job, how good a fit you would be and how great you are to work with in just a matter of minutes is no mean feat.

But what you might not know are the things that you may do to undo all of your hard work – the immediate ways to make success less likely. Here are twelve job interview no-nos.


1. Being Late


It goes without saying that being late is not a good look. Not only will it make you look disorganized and like you don’t care, but it will mess up the interview schedule and will likely result in you having less time to talk. Avoid at all costs.


2. Looking Scruffy


Turning up in inappropriate clothes will give the impression that either you don’t know how to be professional, or that you don’t care. Either way, this isn’t a good thing. Try to wear formal, clean and well-fitting clothes.


3. Not Bringing What You Need


It’s always useful to have a copy or your CV with you, alongside any other materials you mentioned in your job application, and some form of ID. Even if you don’t need to refer to them, it will show forethought and organizational skills – highly employable.


4. Seeming Tired or Lacking Energy


A lack of enthusiasm will just make you interviewer wonder why you’re even here. You need to seem like you’re excited by the opportunity and bursting with ideas and energy, otherwise you’re unlikely to stand out from the crowd.


5. Zoning Out


It can be hard to focus and get out of your head during a job interview – but zoning out shows a lack of attention span which can worry an employer. Try leaning forward and maintaining eye contact to keep your mind on the task in hand.


6. Taking About Yourself Too Much


While it’s important for your answers to be personalized, an intense focus on yourself without referring to the job or company can make your answers seem irrelevant. Try to make each “me” statement link back to something about the position.


7. Checking Your Phone


Again, it seems obvious, but checking your phone during an interview is a huge no-no. It shows immaturity and lack of respect, alongside suggesting to the interviewer that this job is not your top priority. If you find it difficult to resist temptation, turn your phone off and store it in your bag until afterwards.


8. Rambling


Try to make your answers on the shorter side and to the point. There’s nothing worse than wasting interviewers time with a bunch of irrelevant information – plus it makes you look disorganized and unfocused.


9. Seeming Underprepared


Not knowing enough about the position or the company is killer. Even a few minutes research prior to interviewing will make you seem more knowledgeable and more interested in the job.


10. Fidgeting


Fidgeting makes you look nervous and shifty, rather than cool, calm and collected. Try your very best to keep hands still, maintain eye contact and talk at a level pace.

Here are some tips to correct that.

11. Being Negative


Badmouthing your old (or even current) employers will not reflect well on you. Try to be positive, while stressing that the position you’re interviewing for is more appealing. Being negative seems unprofessional and can also be a turn-off on a personal level.


12. Not Following Up


Within 48 hours of interview, it’s worth emailing to thank them for their time and enquire about next stages. Failure to do so can seem like you’re not interested, or cause you to fade from memory.

Annie Walton Doyle writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse our graduate jobs London listings, visit our website.

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