What NOT To Do In A Job Interview


We’ve focused a lot on things to do for a job interview.  We’ve told you what to wear, how to prepare for the first question, how to answer the rest of the questions, and how to follow up with the employer.  This time we’re going to focus on what you should NOT do during an interview.

Do NOT show up unprepared

There are two types of unprepared to battle here.  First is the unprepared to have any job interview, where questions aren’t answered appropriately and the “tell me about yourself” portion of the interview is spent talking about kids and fly fishing.  Prepare for a job interview by reviewing resources on the topic and then practice the answers you know you’ll have to give so you sound confident and smooth.

The second type of unprepared is the interviewee that has a blank expression when asked “What do you know about us?”  Look into the company.  Find out what they do on their website.  Go to their social media where you can learn the type of things they like to show off about themselves.  Pack away little tidbits from social media, like a recent staff retreat or a project they’ve been working on, and talk about it in the interview.

Do NOT talk poorly about a prior employer

Remember your audience.  You are going into a room with an employer, who may know they have had someone else complaining about them in a different interview.  Save the crummy boss stories for talk with friends or family who know you and will believe you, employers will chalk it up to sour grapes and be worried you are disagreeable.

Do NOT lie about your personal history

That being said, don’t lie about your history.  If you left a place on bad terms, they’re going to want to know why.  Take accountability for your part in any prior problems but also go a step further to show how those problems won’t recur.  If you have a criminal record, be willing to talk about it by showing what steps you’ve taken towards rehabilitation.

Do NOT ask about salary/benefits

That’s a conversation for when they offer you the position, not for the interview itself.  You can always turn down the job if the benefits aren’t good enough; spend time in the interview selling yourself.  When they ask you for questions at the end, use the questions to talk about the open position or the company, not about the pay.



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