Interview clangers you don't want to make


Congratulations – your fantastic CV and amazing covering letter did the trick and you landed that all important interview. Don’t blow it!

If you’re late – don’t lie about why – if there was a genuine emergency then be honest, but don’t pretend someone died or was taken seriously ill if they weren’t – you will get found out at some point. But seriously, don't be late! Be prepared, check out the journey and go and visit the building you’re due to have your interview in the week before. Watch the staff coming in and out of the building to gauge the dress code and style of the employees. That said, it’s always better to be overdressed. A casual approach to your clothing could indicate a casual approach to work. No employer wants to see that.


Being overly nervous – you should be confident, they’ve called you and want to see you and find out more. A little bit of nerves is fine, but don’t draw attention to them, take a breath and slow down. Ground yourself by remembering the interviewer’s name and talk yourself through what the role is and what the company is about.


Lying on your CV or application form – just don’t. You’ll be asked about things you’ve written and said you have done – the idea of an interview is to find out about a prospective employee. If you lie before you start, you’ll get tangled up in knots. If you don’t know the answer to a question then say so – you’re human and not expected to know everything, so turn the negative around and make it positive - say how you’d go about finding out what the right answer is, or how you’d get the experience.


Don’t be too laid back. Being calm and in control is one thing but if you’re so laid back as to appear indifferent about the job then you won’t be offered it. Nobody wants lazy disinterested staff. Equally don’t be so arrogant that you appear to know everything about the role or more than the interviewer – you won’t be offered the job.


Don’t chew gum. You might be nervous or chew gum all the time normally. Stop it. You will not land a job chewing gum.


Don’t use your phone! Seriously! Turn it off – properly off, not on vibrate and not on silent – just off. If you text or take a call during what could be the most important moment in your future then you can wave it goodbye.


Don’t be over-familiar and remember everyone you meet on the day is important. That includes the receptionist, people walking through reception, any workers arriving for the day. Think about how you’re perceived and assume every person you come across could feed back – or indeed turn out to be your interviewer or future manager. So no casual chat about last night in the pub, using affectionate terms like mate, or having conversations on your phone that could be overheard.


No further questions? Really? None? There is no interviewer who will have told you everything about the job or the company or themselves during the interview. Write some down before you go so you don’t have a blank moment.  We really mean this – it’s important – you need to leave a lasting impression and asking an insightful question is a great way to leave the interview – together with a firm handshake and a ‘thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you’ type comment.


If you’ve found this useful then don’t forget to look at our other blogs including how to do well at interviews.

Good luck from the mybrink team!