Interview Don'tsSome interview pitfalls to avoid:
1. Don't arrive at the interview late.
2. Don't over or under dress or dress inappropriately
for the position. First impressions do count and you
want to be dressed to show that you fit into the
3. Don't wear strong perfume.
4. Don't forget to take with you extra clean copies
of your CV as well as a notebook and pen with which to
5. Don't forget to shake the hand of the Interviewer
firmly - a limp or sweaty handshake will not be looked
6. Don't chew gum, smoke, eat or drink at the
7. Don't act distracted. Look the Interviewer
straight in the eye and give him your full and
8. Don't let your body language send the wrong
messages. Be aware of the nonverbal cues you are
sending out! Sit upright and straight in the chair
facing the employer and smile. Lean forward
occasionally to express interest. Avoid crossing your
arms or legs in front of you (suggests defensiveness), slouching in the
chair (suggests sloppiness and lack of energy), leaning too far back
(may be interpreted as being overly familiar and disrespectful),
talking to the floor (lack of confidence) or flirting.
9. Don't refer to the Interviewer by his first name
unless he specifically asks you to do so.
10. Don't talk about your weaknesses or failings or
apologize for lack of education, experience, training
etc. Everyone has weaknesses; the Interview is the
time to showcase your enthusiasm and strengths.
11. Don't make derogatory comments about previous
bosses or peers. This is never acceptable and
particularly works against you in the Interview.
12. Don't act tired or jaded. Employers are
invariably looking for someone to energize, inspire
and uplift the team. Try to act enthusiastic and full
of energy and motivation.
13. Don't act unfocused and uncertain about what you
want. Whatever interview you're in - you want THAT
14. Don't lie. Answer briefly, truthfully and
15. Don't interrupt.
16. Avoid giving 'yes' or 'no' answers. Support your
answers with examples and be as factual and concise as
17. Don't talk too much. Focus your answers on the
particular question and on your related strengths.
Watch for signals that the Interviewer is losing
interest and stop talking immediately.
18. Don't talk about your personal life. You have not
been hired yet so keep it professional. This is no the
time to talk about failed love lives, a husband who
asked you to quit your job etc.!
19. Don't treat questions as jokes or try to be too
20. Don't ask about holidays, perks, hours or
compensation until you've actually been made a serious
21. Don't act overly confident or superior.
Ultimately, unless you are applying to the very senior
level positions, the Interviewer is looking for
someone who is manageable and will fit into the team.
22. Don't drop names of influential friends and
acquaintances unless you are passing a message or
someone has referred you. Be very careful and
professional when you mention names of clients and
make sure you are never giving out confidential
23. Don't leave abruptly. Shake the Interviewer's
hand firmly, thank him for his time and ask what the
next step will be.