11 Ways To Have A Bad Job Interview

Looking for a job is not a fun process, at least to most.  It’s often stressful, frustrating, and can have many ups and downs.  I’m very grateful that I’ve had my for over ten years as the number of interviews I’ve had has been pretty small.  There are a lot of things you want to do to improve your chances of getting your dream job.  Additionally, there are things to avoid.  Here are some of those things you want to make sure NOT to do so that you don’t have a bad job interview.

Show Up Late

First impressions are everything, and if you’re not there on time to give your first impression, you’re in trouble.  People interviewing for a job usually have a tight schedule.  If you show up late, that is seen as very disrespectful and can be very disruptive.

Show Up Too Early

The best way to avoid being late is to show up really early.  But, if you stroll in too early, I think that can be just as bad.  Nobody is going to want you sitting around for half an hour before you’re supposed to be there.  Chances are the person doing your interview won’t have time to see you early.  So, while it makes sense to arrive with plenty of time to spare, make sure you sit in your car.

Skip Your Homework Assignment

Any time you go for a job interview, you should have detailed knowledge about the job as well as the company itself.  Making sure you know the job description is on you, as is understanding the basics about the company you are applying to work for.  If you try to wing it, the person interviewing you will probably think you’re not very serious about the position.

Look Unprofessional

If you don’t look professional, chances are people won’t think you’re able to do professional work.  Showing up to a job interview under dressed, poorly groomed, with dirty clothes, or smelling of body odor or cigarette smoke is going to score you zero points.  Make sure to look the part.

Crack Jokes

If you find a punchline in everything, chances are you have a great time in life.  That’s all fine, except you’ll probably want to scale it back for an interview.  As funny as you are, it’s not a requirement for most jobs, and so people doing interview will probably not appreciate your humor.  If you get the job, you can lighten the atmosphere with your repertoire of knock-knock jokes, but keep it in check until then.

Get Someone’s Name Wrong

If you’re introduced to someone, it’s a good idea to refer to them by name.  Just make sure it’s the right one.  This goes especially for anyone that’s doing your interview.  Many will laugh it off, but it still sticks in the back of their head that your attention to detail is lacking.

Babble

People doing interviews want to find applicants who are qualified for the job.  Speaking for two minutes on an answer that could have been given in thirty seconds will not help you.  It will likely hurt you.  While you don’t want to give one word answers, make sure to stick to the point.

Ask Dumb Questions (Or None At All)

You’ll likely be given a chance to ask some questions about the position.  Don’t ask questions just to fill the time.  Also, don’t ask complex questions.   Make sure you come with a list of thoughtful questions that the person interviewing can answer.  You want your questions to show your interest in the job.

Bring Up Money Or Benefits

This is a huge red flag.  An applicant should not bring up money, vacation time, health care, or anything else along those lines.  If they’re brought up into the conversation, it should be done so by the person conducting the interview.  If you’re interviewed and bringing this up, it reflects very poorly on you.  Don’t do it.

Lie

Lying is about one of the worst things that you can do in an interview. A person conducting an interview knows how to read people and body language, so they’ll often be able to spot a lie.  Even if you get away with it in the interview, it’ll likely come about at some point.  After all, if it’s being asked in the interview, chances are it’s important.  Lying is guaranteed to cause you trouble sooner or later.  Don’t do it, ever.

Forget A Thank You

At the end of an interview, you want to shake hands, look the person doing the interview in the eye, and thank them for their time.  This is a given.  You also need to make sure to thank them for their time afterward, whether it be through an e-mail, letter, or phone call.  It may seem like an old fashioned practice, but nonetheless, if you forget it, you could end up blowing an otherwise perfect interview.

Recovering From A Bad Job Interview Is Hard

If you make one or more of these mistakes, it can often be difficult or impossible to recover.  With many jobs attracting many more candidates than there are positions, so chances are someone else won’t make the same mistakes.  The best thing to do if you found that you’ve messed up is to continue on, and if the situation calls for it, apologize.  But the best piece of advice is try to avoid having a bad job interview in the first place.  I hope that these tips have helped.

Readers, have you ever had a bad job interview?  What happened?  Did you recover or did you know it was over?  Let me know in the comments below.

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8 thoughts on “11 Ways To Have A Bad Job Interview

  1. Excellent advice, MB! Too many people haven’t been educated on how to interview well, and it’s sad, because even though they’re good employees they don’t come off that way during the interview process and everyone misses out.

    • Yep. It wasn’t until I became a manager that I really started to understand the process a little better. It’s not about finding the person with the most qualifications or the most impressive resume. It’s about finding someone that you say “Do I feel 100% comfortable with this person doing this job?” and finding the person who makes the answer ‘Yes’.

  2. Rambling and going on and on will definitely lead to a bad interview. I’ve been in interviews with others and have seen a few people get really nervous to the point that they end up talking about something so off topic!

  3. One of my first job interviews out of college was with a company named Gateway Financial. I assumed it was tied to Gateway computers which was huge back in the 90’s. Big mistake to assume! The interviewer probably thought I wasn’t to intelligent… haha, which in that case I wasn’t. I didn’t end up with the position, but I learned a valuable lesson on how NOT to interview. Don’t ASSUME anything you haven’t verified. 🙂
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