How to Appear Unprofessional in Your Interview

When you have an interview, you want it to go well. Unfortunately, some seemingly minor missteps can leave a bad impression on your potential employer.

If you want the job, don’t do any of the following:

  1. Arrive Late
    In an interview, you are presenting the best version of yourself. When you can’t get there on time, this is a bad sign. Will you be late every day? If you do happen to run into an emergency, such as a traffic accident, simply call your interviewer and let them know. Good employers won’t count this against you.
  2. Ignore Your Personal Appearance
    An interviewer gets a first impression of you in as little as a tenth of a second. Your outfit matters, and so do your coat, your shoes, your haircut, your makeup and any other personal grooming. If you’re not sure how you should look, ask the person who scheduled your interview or use the company’s online directory to see how current employees dress.
  3. Bring Food and Drinks
    This may sound ridiculous, but candidates have been known to bring everything from coffee to hamburgers. Gum and mints are another no-no. You may carry a bottle of water; however, keep it in your bag or briefcase.
  4. Take a Call or Check Your Cell Phone
    Checking your cell phone sends the message this opportunity isn’t your top priority. Not to mention, it’s rude. Your interviewer is taking time out of their busy schedule to meet with you, they deserve to have your full, undivided attention. Turn off your phone! Your messages will be waiting for you; the job will not.
  5. Fidget
    You may be anxious before and during an interview. This is normal. Nevertheless, do not channel your nervous energy by tipping back in your chair or fidgeting with items on the table. If you think you might accidentally do these things, make a mental note to keep your hands clasped and your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  6. Overshare
    In an interview, your job is to convince your potential employer why you are a good fit for this position. Period. You don’t need to share any additional information about the terrible morning you had, your personal problems or your extensive hobbies. Keep the conversation primarily job focused.
  7. Bash a Previous Employer
    Your old boss may have been the WORST. Absolutely, keep this information to yourself. Your interviewer may have no idea what your previous job was like, but if you begin ranting their first assumption is you are a complainer. And, if they are personal friends with your old boss, the interview just become extremely awkward. Follow the old saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

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