Top 10 Things to Avoid in an Interview

Here are the Top 10 Things to Avoid in an Interview

You really want that position you applied for, and now you’ve landed an interview.  What should you do, and what should you make certain you do NOT do?  It’s natural to get a little nervous, but with some practice and preparation, you can make the best possible impression.

What are the Top 10 Things you should never do when it comes to an interview?  Here is a list of some of the worst blunders you can make, so keep them in mind before your next job interview.


1. Arrive Late

Nothing says “I’m really not interested in this job” more than arriving late for the interview.  Be on time to make a good impression.

2. Saying too much or too little

No hiring manager wants to sit and try to conduct an interview with jabber jaws, but you do need to speak when it is appropriate.  Don’t try to take control of the conversation, but DO ask enough questions to demonstrate your interest in the company and its values.

3. Inquiring about vacation time, benefits, or pay

It’s really not appropriate to ask these types of questions in a first interview.  Wait until a time that you feel certain you are a top candidate for the position before getting down to the nuts and bolts.

4. Not being clear that you want the job

An interview is partially for your benefit, allowing you to learn more about the company, the position, and the details so that you have a clear picture of what you may be looking toward.  When the interview has concluded, be sure to let the interviewer know that you are enthusiastic and interested in the job.

5. Not being thorough in your answers regarding skills and qualifications

When job candidates are asked about experiences and skills, they often give answers that are vague.  Give clear examples of your experiences and skills in a way that directly relates to the job you are hoping to land.

6. “Umm”, “You Know”

Ever heard someone who cannot talk without putting these kinds of words in every few seconds?  This is a BIG turn-off for employers.  Take a few seconds before you respond to questions and keep these verbal ticks in the back of your mind so that you will avoid using them.  Practice before the interview, either in front of a mirror or with a friend.

7. Wearing street clothes to an interview

Never wear ragged jeans, flip-flops, or other casual wear to an interview.  Dress conservatively, and don’t overdo it with jewelry, makeup, and perfume or cologne.  You want to look professional and neat – not like you just came straight from the tattoo parlor or beach.

8. Weak handshake

When shaking hands with the interviewer, do it firmly, but not too vigorously.  You want to show that you are confident, so avoid a limp or weak handshake as well.

9. Not being prepared ahead of time

Any potential employer is impressed when you ask a few questions about the company that shows you’ve done your research.  By letting the interviewer know you have done a little research through intelligent questions, he/she will get the message that you are genuinely interested and serious about the job.

10. Don’t try to change the tone of the interview  

If the interviewer is all business or very direct, respond in the same manner.  Never try to lead the conversation in a different or more casual direction.


By avoiding these top 10 interview mistakes and developing strong interview skills, you just may find that you win the position rather than coming in second or third place.  Keep in mind that your resume most likely landed you the interview, so your interview should be just as winning as your resume.


ISGF is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).  All rights reserved. Copyright ISGF 2019-2020.


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