Things You Should Not Do At an Interview

Things You Should Not Do At an Interview

Once you are invited for an interview, you have passed the pre-selection stage and have stepped into another phase. Do your very best not to take this phase for granted because it can ruin your chances of getting the job. There are necessary preparations you need to put in place so that your interview outcome will be positive. One thing to take note of is that you may not be the only one invited for the interview; there might be other tough contenders and so a little flaw or blunder from your end can spoil your chances of getting the job.


Things You Should Not Do At an Interview


This tops the list because it is so important. Do not lie about your educational qualifications, experiences, and skills during an interview. Once an interviewer discovers that you lied, it could lead to the termination of the interview session. An interviewer may also try to test the skills you possess and if you lied about your skills then it will spell doom for you. Try to be very credible and honest in an interview and do not build your job career based on falsehood. Answer questions honestly about your academic qualifications and skills, and let the job interviewer hire you for who you are and not your false identity. In addition, do not present a forged certificate during an interview because once you are caught; you may end up in jail.


Arriving Late

Turning up late for an interview will give the interviewer a negative impression of you.  Lateness implies that you are not serious about the position you applied for and if you should get the job, you will also be late to work. Arrive 15 or 30 minutes before the interview to prepare psychologically and if you are caught up in an emergency; call the organization to reschedule the interview.


Dressing Inappropriately

Do not dress casually for an interview but professionally. Do not dress like you are going shopping or clubbing; avoid clothes that are immodest. Do not show too much skin and do not wear dirty accessories. Do not wear multi-colored clothes and shabby clothes. Dress professionally with minimal hair and cloth accessories.


Answering Phone Calls or Chatting

Don’t answer phone calls or reply to messages (chat) during an interview, indulging in such implies indiscipline and disrespect to the interviewer. Phone calls can be a distraction and will make you lose focus. Switch off your phone or put it in an airplane mood. Interviewers are humans and they have different temperaments; a harsh interviewer can end the interview session if you answer phone calls during the interview.



Avoid eating during an interview, eating during an interview shows that you are impolite. Eating during an interview can divide your attention to what the interviewer is saying. Make sure you eat before going for an interview so that you don’t get hungry. Do not put sweets, chocolate, or chewing gum in your mouth because the interviewer may consider it inappropriate.


Discussing Money or Vacation

Unless the interviewer brings this issue up, do not raise it at all. Raising the issue of money or vacation will give the interviewer a negative impression of you; the interviewer will think that you are only passionate about money and not the job position you are applying for. On the other hand, raising the issue of vacation or time off will speak negatively of you to the interviewer; the interviewer may think that you are lazy and not a workaholic.


Poor Body Language

Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and avoid refusing to meet the interviewer’s eye. Refusing to maintain eye contact may show that you are lying or unconfident. During an interview, the best way to feel relaxed is that you should assume you are having a conversation with a friend. Maintain a good posture, a cheerful smile, and a firm handshake in an interview.



Avoid showing you are desperate for the job. Avoid coming up with stories about how desperate you need the job; stories like your Mum is sick that’s why you desperately need the job or to settle house rent, school fees, and others. Do not act in a conceited manner because it never makes a good impression. Keep your emotions in check and show interest in the job position you applied for.


Badmouthing your Former Employees

Never complain about your current or former employees. Do your best to be diplomatic and speak well of them no matter how ineffectual they are. Speaking negatively of your former employees can create a bad impression of you.


Checking Time

Avoid looking at your watch or clock during an interview and also avoid rushing the interviewer. Looking at your watch will make the interviewer feel you still have unfinished business to attend to and this will give a negative impression about you. Make sure you attend to other commitments or engagements before going for an interview.


Lost in Thought

Before going for an interview, it is very appropriate that you clear your mind of all the problems or challenges you are facing. Bombarding your mind with a lot of issues of life can make you be lost in thought during an interview and this will show the interviewer that you are not paying attention. Focus your attention on what the interviewer is saying and ask questions to show the interviewer that you are following.



Avoid touching things on the desk or table with your hands or feet. The interviewer may misinterpret this as boredom. Sit erect and face the interviewer and make sure you keep your hands and feet still. Fiddling with items will show the interviewer that you are not interested in the interview.


Boasting of your Accomplishments (Arrogance)

Avoid arrogance during your interview. Displaying arrogance can make interviewers feel that you are overqualified for the job and also that you are looking down on them. Avoid coming up with stories like ‘I am the best graduating student while at school or I was the one that saved my former company from bankruptcy. Discuss your skills and accomplishments and how they can be channeled to build the company in a humble manner.

Interview Tips

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