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10 Things To Avoid During An Interview

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Whether you’re interviewing for your dream job or internship, an on-campus job, a part-time job at the mall, or a scholarship, all interviews should be taken seriously. Prepare, prepare, prepare! There’s nothing worse than struggling through an interview and while you’re going to be nervous, there’s so many things you can do to help you succeed — but that’s not what this article is about. This article is about what not to do in an interview. It’s about those things that make your interviewer cringe or prevent you from getting the job, so here’s my list of ten things to avoid during any interview.

1. Dressing Inappropriately

You want to impress your interviewer and look like a professional. If you show up wearing jeans and sneakers or a dress you would wear to the club, you’re going to look out of place. Wearing a nice blouse and dress pants, or an appropriate length dress or skirt is another way to go!

2. Appearing uninterested

Although you may twiddle your thumbs, play with your hair, or look out the window because you’re nervous, don’t do it! It will look like you don’t care about the questions the interviewer is asking and that you don’t care at all about the position. Make direct eye contact and try not to fidget.

3. Painting your previous employers or positions in a negative light

This is an important one. If your interviewer asks why you left a certain job, don’t say it’s because you didn’t like your boss or because your co-workers were rude. You don’t want to sound negative, period, but talking negatively about previous jobs makes it look like you’re blaming other people for any mistakes or mishaps that may have occurred in the past. Instead, just say that the organization didn’t perfectly fit your needs.

4. Not asking questions

At the end of your interview, you should always ask questions. Not having any questions is a red flag for interviewers, so you can ask questions about what the interviewer is looking for in an employee and about what has made employees successful in the past. You want to seem interested in the role and asking questions is the best way to do that!

5. Being Unprepared

This could include not having an extra copy of your resume or cover letter or not knowing anything about the company. Do your research beforehand about the company and the industry and utilize any helpful information you can find during your interview.

6. Appearing conceited

While an interview is an opportunity to sell yourself and exude confidence in your strengths and abilities, you don’t want to come off too strong. If you start rambling about why the company needs to have you as an employee or you just sound like you’re bragging, your interviewer won’t be impressed. Instead, you should focus on your accomplishments and talents and let your amazingness speak for itself.

7. Showing Up Late

Because there’s always a chance you could run into traffic or get stopped because of an accident, you should be sure to give yourself an ample amount of time to get there. There’s nothing worse than showing up late to an interview, because your interviewer already has the impression that you would be late to work every day which doesn’t look good.

8. Discussing Money

Asking about money during an interview can make you look greedy, so it’s best to wait until you receive an offer before you bring up salary, time off, or anything related to compensation.

9. Lying

Whether you’ve lied on your resume or during your interview, you will get caught. Employers do their research on their job candidates and if they find out that you didn’t actually work at a certain company or that you didn’t graduate when you say you did, you’ll completely lose their trust as well as your chances of getting the job.

10. Using your cell phone

This should be an obvious one, but make sure your phone is turned off and out of sight. Your interviewer will completely lose respect for you if you answer a phone call or text in the middle of the interview. Your mom or your friend can wait until the interview is over.

Now that you know what not to do, you’re going to nail that interview! Good luck!

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Alyssa is a senior English major at TCNJ who loves to read, write, listen to music, and spend time with her friends, family, and dog. She is currently a Features Editor for HCTCNJ. 
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