Didn’t cut the mustard?

what not to do in an interview

Looking for a job, getting the interviews – but something goes wrong…and you don’t get the job? Unfortunately it happens and sometimes you’re just pipped to the post. But sometimes, the feedback can help and you may have stumbled into a pitfall.

So, what could have gone wrong?

With over 75 years experience in recruitment, we thought we’d share some of the best reasons candidates don’t cut the mustard – so you don’t make the same mistake! :0)

What not to do in an interview

  • Not smiley enough – Sell yourself, try not to frown too much.
  • Chewing gum – not a good look and you can’t talk properly.
  • Taking coffee into an interview – too relaxed.
  • Leaving your phone on the table – ditto and also gives the impression you’re not 100% focused.
  • Turning up late – now that’s just daft! If it’s been unavoidable, make sure you call ahead of time to let them know.
  • Revealing you only want to work part-time, in an interview for a full-time job – it has happened and the candidate has immediately not been considered.
  • Being negative about previous jobs – doesn’t leave a good impression. Keep things positive.
  • Wearing jeans – Big no-no (unless told to do so before the interview)
  • Not researching the company or the job – yes, really this happens! It’s the first question you’re asked. Make sure you know what you’re going for.
  • Didn’t take your coat off – Take it off – make it look like you’re staying.
  • Taking your kids along – Yes, it’s happened and didn’t go down well.
  • Asking silly questions – e.g. ‘Can I bring my son to work on a Thursday’.
  • Changing working hours so you can walk the dog – we love our furry friends, but not really an appropriate question.
  • Answering your mobile in an interview – Can you believe it!? That’s just an obvious no-no.
  • Swearing – big no-no, even if the interviewer is relaxed, friendly and treating you like a life long friend.

If you have any others to add, please tell us and we’d love to share!

Related Dovetail articles:
Multiple job offers? How to choose
Get your interview head on
The counter offer: say no

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