What Not to Do in an Interview
By Neal Morrison, City Career Fair
This is one of the most asked questions by candidates during my years of producing the Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fairs and Roundtables across the U.S. Few candidates have any idea of the potential field of land mines that await them in an interview.
So we surveyed for their input over 500 recruiters and staffing managers who are on the front lines of recruiting for major corporations, government agencies and non-profits.
Here are their top 10 should NOT’s for an interview.
- Be Late – Noted by 100% of the Recruiters
“Next!” that’s what you might hear when you finally turn up—late. If an unavoidable delay occurs, immediately let the employer know before your scheduled interview time. This shows consideration and a level of professionalism.
- Lack Adequate Preparation – Noted by 98% of the Recruiters
Not knowing what the company does or details about the position you’re applying for indicates to the Recruiter that you’re unprepared and may not be the right person for the position. Asking relevant questions that allow you to engage with the recruiter indicates just the opposite.
- Inappropriate Attire – Noted by 93% of the Recruiters
If you don’t know the appropriate attire, just call and ask the company’s HR. Business suits are always your best bet.
- Complain About Your Current or Past Employer – Noted by 92% of the Recruiters
Don’t do it. You’ll be perceived as a complainer and possibly, someone who holds a grudge.
- Become Too Personal or Familiar – Noted by 90% of the Recruiters
Flirting is unacceptable and should be avoided. Telling personal stories and sharing intimate details during your interview is taboo and could put-off the interviewer.
- Lack Attentiveness and Expressed Interest – Noted by 88% of the Recruiters
Yawning, slouching, fidgeting, and clock watching send negative non-verbal cues to an experienced recruiter.
- Cursing or Use of Excessive Slang – Noted by 99% of the Recruiters
Not acceptable in the work place and will certainly eliminate you as a possible contender for the position. It could also draw question upon your emotional and psychological suitability for the position.
- Fail to Smile Appropriately and Make Eye Contact – Noted by 83% of the Recruiters
Appropriate and regular smiles along with eye contact provide the first line of successful engagement with the interviewer.
- Talk or Texting on Your Phone – Noted by 84% of the Recruiters
Talking and texting during an interview is disrespectful and will certainly eliminate you from further consideration.
- Forget to Ask the Interviewer Their First Impression of Your Qualifications – Noted by 75% of the Recruiters
Remember a golden and rare opportunity exists to gain valuable feedback from an experienced observer—the interviewer. Most are willing to share their observations and assessment of your qualifications and prospectus for getting the position, if asked.
Regardless of how you’ve done on interviews in the past, these insights when applied should build your confidence and thereby increase your success.
Neal Morrison is Diversity Outreach Director at City Career Fair (www.citycareerfair.com).