10 Things That Will Ruin An Interview

1. Refuse to admit to a weakness.
Candidates sometimes refuse to come up with a weakness, or say that their greatest weakness is working too hard. This portrays to the interviewer that the person is either insincere or lacking in self-assessment.

2. Admit you don’t know what you want to do.
Even if you are still exploring possible career paths, don’t admit that in an interview. Appear as though you have a plan and a dream, which conveniently coincides with the job you are interviewing for.

3. Dress un-professionally.
Always dress one notch above the job that you hope to get. Even if the office is casual, dress professionally for the interview.

4. Arrive late.
Leave enough time to get to the office and write out detailed directions. Plan to arrive at the location 15 minutes early, but do not go in more than 5-10 minutes early. Problems do arise though, so call to inform them if you cannot make it on time. Arriving too early makes the interviewer uncomfortable and puts pressure on them to finish what they are doing. You may need some extra time to fill out paperwork or make sure your outfit is lint-free, so factor that in too.

5. Use your cell phone.
Turn off your cell phone before you arrive. Don’t play with it, even in the waiting room. Most employers start observing candidates before the interview even begins. If you are caught playing on your cell phone, then it makes you seem disinterested in the position. Look focused and attentive while you wait for your name to be called. Don’t use your phone to take notes during the interview either, which looks too casual. This is the 21st century, but bring a pen and paper anyways.
6. Speak poorly about a past job or boss.
It is appropriate to speak about past job experience in an interview. In fact, interviewers often ask about negative experiences with past supervisors. However, make sure to keep it classy and show how you handled the problematic situation professionally. Otherwise, he will assume you will badmouth their company in your next job interview.

7. Ask dumb questions.
You should have already done your research before you came in. Don’t ask what the company does, or any other question that could easily be answered by their company website. This tells the interviewer that you have not put in much time or effort.

8. Talk too much about your personal life.
It is often nice to set yourself apart from your competition by making a personal connection with your interviewer. Don’t blabber on about personal details or inappropriate topics though. For example, it’s fine to be friendly and mention that you also knit if you see knitting needles on the desk. Use your judgment and always keep it professional.

9. Arrive poorly groomed.
Have a mint beforehand so that your breath is fresh, but do not chew gum during the interview. Don’t arrive with wet hair or with a 5 o’clock shadow. Make sure not to over-do your grooming though. Too much cologne or perfume is distracting and bothersome.

10. Assume you have the job.
Never ask about raises or vacation time. There will be a time to discuss that later. The job interview should be a chance for you to determine if the job is right for you. The end goal should not be a job offer, but rather to see if the job is a mutual good match for yourself and the company.

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