10 Ways to Mess Up the Interview

 You arrive late for the interview.

What it means: “I really don’t care about getting this position.”

Arrive a healthy 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to give you time to collect your thoughts, review your notes and make a good impression.

2. You’re rude to the receptionist.

What it means: “I’m difficult to get along with.”

Receptionists are the gate keepers and it’s their job to be the eyes and ears of the company.  Besides, if you’re hired, you may need their help one day.

3. You answer questions with dull or cliché responses.

What it means: “I’m just one of the crowd.”

Telling the interviewer you are somebody who likes to do things properly and expecting too much of yourself is sure to bring out a yawn, if not a roll of the eyes.  Prepare potential responses ahead of time to avoid relying on the usuals.

4. You don’t ask questions.

What it means: I’m not that interested in your company.

The interview should be a two-way conversation “to determine if you are the right fit for the company, and if the company is the right fit for you.”  Use the interview to gather as much information about the position as possible.

5. You answer the standard “Tell us about yourself,” with “What would you like to know?”

What it means: “I have nothing special to offer this company.”

This is your opportunity to guide the conversation into areas where you truly shine.  Don’t waste this chance by appearing to be short of any outstanding qualities you want to share. PLEASE don’t start with where you were born (unless your birthplace is relevant to the job). Focus on your career and what you have to offer in terms of skill and experience.

6. You use inappropriate language.

What it means: “I’m unprofessional and if it shows in the short period of an interview, imagine what I’ll be like in the office.”

Even if they’re only mild and somewhat acceptable words, there still is no place for them in the interview.

7. You trash-talk your former boss.

What it means: “I have no discretion; I’ll talk about any inside information.”

If you left your previous job on poor terms, you need to put this relationship in a positive light for the interview, even if your boss was to blame.  You never want to bring negativity or aggressive emotions into the interview.  Keep positive and upbeat.

8. You ask the interviewer not to contact your former employer.

What it means: “I have something to hide.”

Even if you do not get along with your former boss, you can always name someone else in author within the organisation as a reference.

9.  You exaggerate your accomplishments or qualifications.

What it means: “I’m not good enough on my own merits, so I need to lie to make myself look good.”

A skilled interviewer can easily identify fabrications in your background or experience.  State your qualifications with confidence.  You don’t have to be Superman to get hired; you just have to be right for the job.

10.  You don’t thank the interviewer.

What it means: “I have no manners.”

Forgetting to thank your interviewer in writing for their time can take the shine from even the best interviewee.