Five interview blunders that can cost you a job

By Elijah Odhiambo

During an interview, everything you do counts. The hiring manager would assume you are putting your best foot forward – so any sign of unprofessional or unproductive behavior makes a big impact.

Whether it’s something like arriving late and not acknowledging it or a more severe one like sending text messages during the interview.

Well, here are some interview deal-breakers that are a big NO for any candidate.

  1. Showing up late (or not at all):

There are zero excuses for tardiness for a pre-arranged interview. Even turning up five minutes late is enough to put the employer off you for good especially if you didn’t have the decency to call before you are late, to explain why you are running late and apologize. Excuse of traffic doesn’t matter – you should have planned ahead to account for any jams. And if you don’t turn up at all without even so much as a phone call, you can kiss goodbye to ever working for that company.

  1. Disguising a strength as a weakness: Responding to the “what’s your biggest weakness?” question can be difficult. Most candidates try to spin a weakness into a strength, but this isn’t what they’re looking for. They want to see your level of self-awareness, and then an example of how you’ve tried to account for, or improve, that weakness. Saying, “I’m a perfectionist” doesn’t cut it.
  2. You can’t explain your previous role accurately: One of the biggest red flags for any recruiter is the candidate’s inability to articulate his/her responsibilities in a previous job clearly. Interviewers are trying to understand exactly what you’ve accomplished in the past and how you function as a worker. If your answers are vague, you’re going to make it very hard for them to assess whether you’re the right fit for the job. Be precise and quantify your work – roles, responsibilities, and how you have solved actual problems.
  3. An unkempt social media presence: Assume all potential recruiters will check your social media output. If you don’t have your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts managed appropriately, what they find could make a huge difference in how your application is handled. Remember, your online profile is an easy way to form the first impression and also a perception of your own brand.
  4. Bad-mouthing previous co-workers and bosses: Speaking ill of your previous employers is a huge no-no. Why? Because even if all your concerns are warranted, all the employer sees is someone whom they can’t trust, and who will badmouth others at the drop of a hat.

So when preparing for an interview or facing an interviewing panel, you should keep in mind the above listed points. Showing up early for the interview and properly explaining your previously role well enough among other points can give you an upper hand in getting the job.


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