You’ve probably read all the tips on how to prep for a job interview, but what about tips on what you shouldn’t do? Turns out, there are quite a few things that can actually sabotage your chance at landing your dream job.
From making too many jokes to not doing your research, we asked eight recruiters to share the most common mistakes people make in interviews.
“The number one annoying thing candidates do in interviews is when they drag their story. Instead of briefly answering a question, they give a 10-minute ramble with no direct answer. This forces us to either ask the question in another way, which ultimately takes away from another question that should be asked (especially if your interviews are back-to-back), or sit through another 10-minute story that still doesn’t answer the question.” — Heidi Lynne Kurter, HR, Team and Leadership Development Consultant
“There are times when candidates hesitate to answer in the negative, thinking a ‘no’ would lead to rejection. Instead of saying ‘no,’ they frame completely irrelevant answers to the question being asked, which is a huge turn-off. It’s similar to asking someone, ‘Did you have breakfast today?’ and receiving an answer, ‘Oh, I went for dinner yesterday.’” — Gargi Rajan, Head of HR at Mettl
Making too many jokes
“The most annoying thing a candidate can do during an interview is to make jokes the entire time. A little friendly banter can lighten the mood and help put people at ease, but if a candidate has to insert humor into every answer and interaction, it makes me question whether they’ll be able to be serious when the time comes.” — Meghann Arnold, Director of Team Success at Readers.com
Showing up late
“Arriving late to your job interview can be extremely off-putting to any interviewer because they scheduled a part of their day specifically to meet with you and discuss the available position. Prepare to leave a little earlier than usual, especially if there’s traffic, so you arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the interview starts.” — Dana Case, Director of Operations at MyCorporation
Not doing your research
“Research the company you’re applying to, whether it’s through a third party or the employer itself. There are countless times per week I speak to candidates and they’ll say ‘I’m sorry, I’ve applied to so many jobs, which one is this again?’ Hiring managers and recruiters have taken the time to do their due diligence regarding your candidacy. It’s best for candidates to do the same.” — Catt Medina, Regional Talent Director at Ingenia Talent (East Coast)
“I love a compliment as much as the next person. However, I’m not going to hire you because you love my dress, my office, the question I asked, my website, etc. Too much kiss up too soon, is super annoying.” — Brianna Rooney, Founder and CEO of Techees
“Some people aren’t ready for the interview. They haven’t spent time reflecting on their past experiences or considered how their current experiences are valid and valuable in various industries. Result: It’s hard to pitch the candidate to the hiring manager.” — Caroline Stokes, Executive Recruiter and Host of The Emotionally Intelligent Recruiter podcast
Badmouthing your former employees
“An interview is the place to showcase your skills, not bash your micromanaging boss. Many candidates think this makes them look ‘better’ than their last employer, but it actually makes them look petty and makes recruiters wonder what they’d say if something went south after hiring them.” — EB Sanders, Recruiter and Career Coach
xx, The FabFitFun Team