By Jack Kelly
You always read about what you ought to do in an interview. I thought it might be even more helpful to share some blunders that you should avoid throughout the interview process. If you do engage in these actions, I can guarantee that you’ll epically fail and enrage the interviewers. You’ll probably also be barred from ever interviewing there again.
- Offer available times to interview that are solely convenient for you. You don’t care if its burdensome to the interviewers, as it’s all about you.
- If it turns out that the time you confirmed is now inconvenient for you, cancel the meeting minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.
- Show up late to the interview. Compound this by not offering any apologies as to why you’re late or asking forgiveness for making them wait 30 minutes for you.
- As you arrive tardy, you are holding a Starbucks coffee and loudly slurping it in front of everyone.
- It’s August in New York City and about 100 degrees on the trains. You don’t find it important to go to the bathroom and get freshened up—you just arrive disheveled and offer a sopping wet handshake.
- Of course, you don’t have to bring a résumé or business card.
- You call the hiring manager by the wrong name twice, after she has already corrected you.
- Your phone rings and your ringtone is a gangster rap song filled with profanity and inappropriate lyrics. You answer the call and put up your index finger, signaling the universal “I’ll be with you in a minute” sign. You then follow up with a “shush” when they’re talking too loudly and interfering with your call. In fact, you look annoyed at them for looking annoyed at you.
- As the interviewer asks questions, you look bored and apathetic—trying to play hard to get.
- You provide answers to a question that wasn’t asked. When corrected, you admit that you weren’t paying attention to the question. In this moment, you think the interviewer will value your honesty.
- Instead of giving concise answers, you try being different by offering awkwardly long and meandering soliloquies that confuse and annoy everyone.
- You talk trash about your former employer and co-workers. You think they will love hearing about how terrible their competitors are and appreciate the juicy gossip.
- You ask if it’s okay to date the boss, as you’ve done so in the past.
- Before anything else, you demand to know the salary, bonus, where your office is located and how much vacation time and sick days you get, as well as other perks.
- You are rude and dismissive to the receptionist in the lobby when she doesn’t let you in right away. You let her know important people are expecting you.
- You take copious notes while everyone is talking and don’t look up at all while you are writing.
- In the middle of the interview, while they are in the midst of asking you a question, interrupt precipitously and tell them you have a hard stop and need to go to another interview, which you’re already late for.
- When the interviewer asks you a question, you sigh in annoyance and inquire, “Didn’t you read my résumé?”
- You either avoid all eye contact or stare directly into their eyes for the entire duration of the interview.
- If you’re bored, you fiddle with the objects on the interviewer’s desk and distractedly look around the room.
- You constantly interrupt the interviewer with nonsensical questions.
- Wrap up the interview by asking, “Are you going to give me an offer or what?”
While it may sound like I am exaggerating with these gaffes to humor you and make a point, you would be surprised to know that these are all real-life instances that I’ve encountered as an executive recruiter and hiring manager for my own team. I can tell you firsthand, if you exhibit any of these behaviors, I can assure you that you’ll totally flounder and sabotage your own chances of attaining a new job.