An interview can be a make-or-break opportunity to land a job. While it’s important to focus on making a positive impact,  it’s equally important to avoid making common mistakes that can hurt your chances of landing the job. In this blog, we’ll explore what not to do at an interview to increase your chances of success.

Arrive on time

Arriving late to an interview can create a negative impression and suggest that you are not reliable or punctual. Always plan to arrive at the interview location at least 15 minutes early. This will give you time to check-in, use the restroom, and collect your thoughts before the interview.

By avoiding arriving late, dressing inappropriately, being unprepared, speaking negatively about former employers, rambling or interrupting, using inappropriate language, and lying or exaggerating, you can make a positive impression on the interviewer and increase your chances of success.

Dress appropriately

Dressing inappropriately can also create a negative impression. It’s important to dress professionally and appropriately for the interview. Research the company culture and dress code beforehand. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed, and your hair and nails are well-groomed.

Be fully prepared

Failing to prepare for an interview can signal to the interviewer that you are not interested in the job or not serious about the opportunity. Before the interview, research the company and the job requirements. Prepare examples of how your experiences and skills align with these requirements. Practice common interview questions to help you feel more confident and articulate during the interview.

Don’t speak negatively about former employers

Speaking negatively about former employers can raise red flags for the interviewer. It suggests that you may have a negative attitude or are difficult to work with. Instead, focus on positive experiences and how they have prepared you for the job. Focussing on the silver linings of your experiences will help your potential employer to see the best in you.

Don’t ramble or interrupt

During the interview, it’s important to listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions and respond thoughtfully. Avoid rambling or interrupting the interviewer. This can make it difficult for the interviewer to assess your qualifications and may suggest that you have poor communication skills.

Don’t swear (mind your manners!)

This might seem obvious, but sometimes we can get on so well with our interviewers, that formality is lost. But using inappropriate language during an interview can be a deal-breaker. This includes using profanity, slang, offensive or negative language. Keep your language professional and respectful throughout the interview.

Don’t lie or exaggerate

Overstating your experience or qualifications can be tempting – there can be a tendency to think that we have to say everything our potential employer wants to hear.  But for the sake of both parties, it’s important to be honest during the interview. The interviewer may ask follow-up questions or request references that could reveal inconsistencies in your story, but it could also become clear later in the job that your skillset is not quite up to par. So be honest about your experiences and qualifications, and play up your strengths.

Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but avoiding common mistakes can help you feel more confident and increase your chances of landing the job. By being timely, presentable, prepared, polite and honest about your experiences, you’ll make an impression with maximum impact, and it will only increase your chances of success.