When you’re applying for a job, you may think that recruiters only evaluate your educational background, work experience, and skills. That may be true, but just for the initial phase. Keep in mind that even though you have the right skillset and knowledge that companies are looking for, recruiters and hiring managers may ignore your application based on inappropriate behaviors during the interview.
First impressions last. As for job interviews, you need to present yourself as a professional who demonstrates proper behavior.
There are several things that can go wrong during an interview which can affect your chances of landing that job. Recruiters can let go of some of them, but several mistakes are considered deal-breakers.
So, what are the common mistakes that candidates do to disqualify themselves from the job? Here are seven things that you should not do in an interview:
#1 Arrive late
Punctuality says a lot about a job candidate. It demonstrates your respect for the time of the interviewer and that you really want the job. If you’re late for something as important as a job interview, how can you be relied on for other matters? Arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. In case of an emergency that will prevent you from showing up on time, make sure to inform the interviewer.
#2 Wear clothes that are too casual
Companies have different dress codes, so it’s alright to ask the recruiter what the dress code for the job interview is. Even if you know that the company is not that strict when it comes to what its employees wear, avoid assuming that also applies to interviews. In general, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.
#3 Skip your personal hygiene ritual
Most, if not all, recruiters cringe about job candidates who have bad breath or body odor. Aside from wearing the right clothes, apply deodorant, and make sure that your breath smells fresh. Have some breath mints right before the interview. Look at yourself in the mirror before leaving the house to ensure that you look presentable.
#4 Check your phone all the time
You don’t need your phone during the interview, so there’s no reason for you to check it once in a while. Remember to give 100% attention to the interview. To keep you from checking your phone, make sure to turn it off when you go inside the building. In this way, you will not be tempted to answer it if it rings or look at it if it vibrates. While waiting, you can mentally prepare for the interview and check your surroundings.
#5 Avoid eye contact
One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to body language during an interview is avoiding eye contact. Even when you’re not applying for a job, not looking at someone in the eye during conversations can look like you’re hiding something or you cannot be trusted. This also tends to communicate that you’re not interested in what the interviewer is talking about.
#6 Play with something on the table
You may not be conscious of it, but playing something on the table during an interview tells the interviewer that you are not interested or that you’re bored. Sit properly and focus your attention on the task at hand.
#7 Not smiling
It doesn’t matter if you’re nervous or not – always remember to smile when you greet the interviewer or even the receptionist in the lobby. This will help show your pleasing personality and your interest in the job. Refusing to smile makes a very bad first impression.
These are just some of the things that you should not do in an interview. If you want the job, make the first impression count. Check your appearance and be professional. A combination of the right knowledge and skills, behavior, and personality will increase your chances of getting hired.
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to things you should not do in an interview. CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional resources below will be useful: