What not to do in your job interview

I spend a lot of my day’s blogging about the best way to secure a job role from writing your CV, updating your LinkedIn profile all the way to the day of the interview! But what about the things you SHOULDN’T do in your job search? There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid in order to show yourself in the best light to your interviewer. Here we point out What not to do in your job interview:

DON’T… Be Late

This one is so obvious! Where I work the Director has a simple rule: If you’re late, you’re not coming in. Now of course there are some wild exceptions to the rule but you don’t want to chance this so leave with plenty of time and make sure you know where you are going so you don’t arrive stressed and out of breath from running there! Being late creates a negative impression before you’ve even stepped through the door so you will thank us for leaving that little bit early!

DON’T… Be (Too) Early

OK so I know I told you to set off early so you’re not late but arriving too early can also be off-putting to your potential employer! They are probably running on a timed schedule so arriving 40 minutes early could cause an awkward encounter for you and them! Aim to be in the building 5-10 minutes before your interview time. If you are really early, find a nearby café and go through your notes so you feel fully prepared.

DON’T… Dress Inappropriately

I live by the phrase: It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. This applies to 90% of job interviews so dig out your best suit / office attire and spend a bit of time on your appearance before you arrive. That being said you may have been briefed on what to wear or be interviewing for a non office environment so make sure you are aware of the company protocol before deciding what to wear.

DON’T… Slouch

Body language is so important in an interview, so even if it doesn’t feel natural sit up straight, broaden your shoulders and maintain a good amount of eye contact throughout. Try not to cross your arms or legs as this creates a ‘closed off’ vibe and a barrier of communication.

DON’T… Be Too Shy

Now I’m not saying you should strut in their with an overly confident head and tip the CEO out of their office chair, but you need to convey a level of confidence and personality to make your interviewer buy into you. Talking quietly and fidgeting is a massive giveaway so try and maintain good body language (see above) and speak loudly and clearly.

DON’T… Talk About Money

You should have a fair idea of the salary before walking into the interview so you shouldn’t feel the need to bring it up straight away. Nothing puts an interviewer off more (apart from maybe being really late) than someone asking numerous times about how much money they will earn. They will more than likely bring this up themselves but if you do feel the need to ask, wait until the end and ask a couple of other questions that show you’re interested in the company and the job role… not just the pay packet!

DON’T… Arrive Empty Handed

It’s always good to show you have prepared for the interview so bring along some typed up notes or a presentation of some sort for your interviewer. It shows a lot of initiative if you have gone to the effort to do that without being asked so it will help you enormously! If you have a portfolio of work, bring this along too and always print a couple of copies of your CV in case they haven’t.

DON’T… Forget To Thank Your Interviewer

Manners cost nothing and a lot of people will pick up on subtle things like holding a door for someone, shaking hands and saying thank you. It’s always good to wrap up the interview with a big smile, a thank you very much and a hand-shake. If you really want to stand-out send a personalised email when you get home thanking them for seeing you and adding any key points from their questions in the interview as a follow up.

So there you have it, what NOT to do in your interview! Hopefully you will pick up some useful tips and be able to wow in your interview and bag that graduate job role!


Sophie Heaton (Digital Campaign Manager)

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