Five Things Not to Do During an Interview

Career Blog

Published: October 29, 2018 by Evelyn Hudson

Last week, we covered five things to do during an interview. But remember: just as important as what to do is what not to do. There are some things that will simply turn an interviewer off and make your chances of getting that job drop like a stone. If you prepare for your interview properly, you can avoid these bad behaviors and ensure you make a good impression on your interviewer. If all else fails, be sure to avoid the following five things.

  1. Discuss salary. Unless it is brought up, it is common knowledge that you don’t discuss salary during a first interview. It comes across as tacky. While of course money is important, the first interview should focus on why you are the best choice for the position. After you prove your worth, you are in a much better position to negotiate for a higher salary if necessary. So, avoid an uncomfortable situation and leave money out of the equation for now.
  2. Arrive late. This is a big red flag for potential employers. Arriving on time shows you are punctual and respectful of the interviewer’s time. It is good practice to give yourself a lot of extra time and arrive early if possible. This way, you avoid potential issues with traffic or sudden problems. If it turns out you will be late and there is nothing you can do, call as soon as possible to let the interviewer know what is going on.
  3. Leave your phone’s sound on. Having your phone go off in the middle of an interview can really mess up the flow and will probably embarrass you. Even vibrations can be distracting, so best practice is to turn off your phone completely. This also ensures you won’t be tempted to answer—which is another no-no!
  4. Talk badly about a former employer. Speaking badly about a former employer doesn’t make the employer look bad—it makes you look bad. You will come across as someone the interviewer cannot trust. He or she will wonder what you will say about his or her organization once you leave the interview. If you really disliked a former employer, talk about how the job didn’t fit you, rather than insulting the employer.
  5. Forget to send a thank you note. A thank you note is the icing on the cake of a perfect interview. It solidifies your interest in the position and leaves a final positive impression with the interviewer. A good thank you note is sent within 24 hours of the interview. You can reiterate all your good qualities and elaborate on anything you may have missed during the interview. Be sure to ask for your interviewer’s email so you can send a good thank you note.

What do you avoid doing during an interview? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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