What Not to Do in a Job Interview

What Not to Do in a Job Interview

Congratulations! You have been invited for an interview for a job you have been hoping to get with your dream employer but hang on, you need to ace the interview before the job can actually be yours. You may go into an interview room wanting to make a good impression but did you know that 50% of employers decide if a candidate is a good fit for their company within the first five minutes of the interview?

In the nearly 30 years we have been in business, Skill Hire’s recruitment team have seen it all. As a training and employment solutions provider, we interview everyone from apprentices to trainees to job seekers daily. We have witnessed even the most experienced candidates commit mistakes that are a big no-no at an interview.

Although most recruiters or hiring managers are willing to look past minor mistakes, there are certain things that they cannot tolerate. Based on Jobvite’s 2017 National Recruiter Report, the top deal breakers that automatically disqualify candidates are being rude to the receptionist or other support staff (86%), checking your phone (71%), arriving late (58%) and poor hygiene (52%). They won’t tell you this but if you receive a rejection email a few days later, there is a chance you may be guilty of committing one of these deal breakers.

So, without much ado, let’s get straight into what NOT to do in a job interview.

Using Your Phone

This may seem like common sense but you will be surprised to know that many candidates commit this grave mistake. We have become accustomed to checking our phones at the slightest sound of a notification but this habit of yours can cost you a job. To avoid this, you need to make sure your phone is either turned off or is on silent before the interview. Secondly, never have your phone on the table or anywhere within sight during the interview to avoid temptation. Checking your phone during an interview is downright disrespectful to the interviewer and communicates that you are not serious about the job.

Dressing Inappropriately

They say you should never judge a book by its cover but unfortunately, recruiters and hiring managers do this. According to 49% of hiring managers, wearing clothes that are too tight, loose, revealing or casual at an interview is considered inappropriate. Remember, the way you dress to an interview conveys your judgement skills and how you would appear to customers.

Asking About Salary

Some things need to wait and this is one of them. We know you are curious to know the salary on offer for the position but you should never talk money in the first interview unless the interviewer brings it up. Don’t worry, you will get the chance to discuss the salary at a later time. If you discuss salary in the initial interview, it conveys that money is your sole motivator and that you value money over opportunity to be part of the company.

Arriving Late

Arriving late to an interview is another no-brainer mistake that many candidates are guilty of committing. By arriving late, you will starting the interview with an apology and highlighting the fact that punctuality is not your strong suit. Instead, you should aim to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your interview. We understand that things don’t always go as planned with the best of intentions so do have the courtesy to ring ahead of time to inform your interviewer if you are running late.


We don’t need to tell you that lying during an interview is a big no-no yet, many candidates are guilty of doing this. Nothing gets you written off in an interview faster than lying. If your lie get undetected, it will catch up to you sooner than you can imagine.

Speaking Ill of Your Previous Employers

A large part of your interview will comprise of your previous work experience. When talking about the past, avoid badmouthing your previous employers because that will ultimately reflect poorly on you for several reasons. First of all, the world is small. You never know if your potential employer is golf buddies with your previous employer. Just saying. Secondly, by speaking ill of your previous employers, it only highlights the fact that you are dwelling on the past.

Not Doing Your Research

Having just the skills and qualifications to do the job is not sufficient. You need to demonstrate a good understanding of how much you know about the company you are interviewing with. Before the interview, take a few moments to go through the company’s website and social media pages to understand what the company does, mission, vision and organization culture. By understanding the company, you will be in a better position to explain why hiring you is beneficial for the team.

Remember, the fact that you get called in for an interview emphasizes the fact that your potential employer sees you as a potential employee. Steer clear of these mistakes and you should be able to make a positive impression on your interviewer.

Skill Hire’s recruitment team has nearly three decades of experience mentoring job seekers and placing them into rewarding careers. We will help you with everything from refining your CV to prepping you for your upcoming interview to finding employment.

To find employment through Skill Hire, please contact us here or call us on 9376 2800.


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