What NOT to do in an Interview

12 May '14

Many articles online are full of tips on what to do to in order to nail a job interview. As important as it is to do the right things in a job interview to make that great first impression with your future employer or recruiting specialist, avoiding common errors is equally as important.

1. Do NOT show up late.

When you show up to a job interview late, whether it be with a potential employer or a recruiting specialist you are telling that person that you don’t value their time. Additionally you are letting your interviewer know that you cannot be counted on for punctuality. Be on time and if something crazy has come up and you just can’t make it for the scheduled time call in advance to let the interview know you will be late. To avoid being late try mapping out your route the night before, additionally you can research parking options or even drive out the night before. By doing this you will know how much time to give yourself in order to get to your interview on time.

2. Do NOT dress like you are going to the gym, the bar, or the beach.

If you are interviewing for a job working in a professional environment look the part. It does not matter if you are applying for a Calgary administration job, Calgary construction job, or to work at a fast food joint. Your job interview is not an occasion for showing off your lulu-lemons or sequined cocktail dress. You can still be trendy and fun when you dress for your job and interview but think “conservative and fun” or “modest and trendy”. Use reason. If on your way to the job interview people are turning their heads and whistling in your direction or alternatively if they are dropping spare change into your coffee cup, you are not dressed appropriately for your interview! Go home and change! FAST!

3. Do NOT walk into your interview sipping a latte and nibbling a muffin.

First of all your interviewer will be jealous and I am guessing you didn’t bring enough to share (Rule 3.5 don’t bring treats to share with your interviewer. That’s just weird). Your interview is not the time to eat or drink. Please quench your thirst on your own time and while in an interview focus on the task at hand: making the best first impression possible.

4. Do NOT chew gum or other objects.

This just looks unprofessional and can be distracting. You want your interviewer to be focused on your qualifications and stunning personality, not distracted by loud chomping noises and threateningly large bubbles.

5. Do NOT squash your personality in an attempt to be overly professional.

Your interviewer wants to see your personality. That’s part of why they are interviewing you in the first place. They’ve seen your resume on paper and they’ve read up on your qualification. Now it is time for them to get to know you, the kind of person you are and how you would fit in on the job. Let your personality shine in a professional manner.

6. Do NOT forget that TMI is Too Much Information.

We’re pretty sure you can show your personality without getting into details about your recent break up, favorite names for kittens, and that time you got food poisoning on the beach. Showing your personality without revealing too much can be a delicate balance, but it’s a balance well worth mastering. Do not reveal too much information about your personal life.

7. Do NOT pretend your area of weakness is that you have no weaknesses at all.

Not only is this a bad joke, it’s completely un-charming and untrue. We all have weaknesses and we can all see this textbook interview question coming from a mile away so prepare for it and answer honestly. You don’t have to totally hang yourself out to dry by revealing a weakness. Talk about the steps you are taking to improve yourself and your interviewer will surely be impressed.

8. Do NOT talk negatively about former employers or supervisors.

Even if this is true and your former employer was actually a monster, mentioning this in an interview is unprofessional. Saying bad things about people sets a negative tone; not the tone you want to establish in your job interview.

9. Do NOT be rude to the reception.

It’s great that you’re putting on a big cheery smile and rolling out a metaphoric red carpet for your interviewer but when you show up to an office to interview this is how you need to treat everyone! If you are rude to the receptionist, that information will get back to your recruiter and notes will be made. No one wants to work with a rude person, so don’t be one! Treat everyone with the respect you would want to be shown yourself.

10. Do NOT leave your cell phone out.

Believe it or not many people enter an interview, sit down, and put their muted phone on the desk in perfect location to scan for incoming messages and witty texts about the weather. Don’t be one of these people! We know texting is fun and addictive but that does not make it an acceptable behavior when trying to get a new job. Unless you have a particular fondness for receiving personalized texts from your local unemployment office, turn your cell phone off and put it away!