Things you should never do during a job interview

Nail your interview by being well-prepared, polished, and poised...and don't do these things.

No matter what stage you are at in your career, going on a job interview can be unnerving. Anxiety and stress may rear their ugly heads, and the fear of the unknown can be equally nerve-wracking. Even if you are normally calm, cool, and collected, the prospect of meeting with a potential employer for the first time in a setting where you must be at your best can cause palms to sweat and insecurity to come out of the woodwork.

But you can do this! Nail your interview by being well-prepared, polished, and poised. If you are the right person for the job and you make a stellar impression, chances are you'll get the job. That said, there are some things that can ruin your chances of being hired. The actions and behaviors below are major no-nos. Stay on top of your interview manners and you will be one step closer from nailing the gig.

Not Learning as Much as Possible About the Company

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You wouldn't show up for an exam without studying, so do not arrive at your interview without knowing as much as you can about the company and the person interviewing you. Show you have a vested interest in the business by doing your homework.

As suggested by Michael Page Career Advice, "Check the 'About Us' link on the company website and read their mission statement. Find out who the competition and major players in the market are." These days, a search is just a click away, so there is no excuse not to know at least the basics about the company and the job you are about to be interviewing for.

Knowledge is power! Prove you are proactive and prepped.

Dressing Unprofessionally

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What is on the inside is what counts, but your outward appearance reflects your sensibilities and understanding of the type of business you are trying to be part of. You do not need to dress in a way that isn't your personal style, but there is a level of professionalism and appropriateness that is expected and appreciated.

Career Builder notes, "Wearing clothes that are too tight or too loose, too dressy or too casual, or wearing brands and logos in professional settings is a bad sign, according to 49 percent of hiring managers."

And according to The Balance, "Err on the side of overdressing to demonstrate that you are serious about the opportunity."

Dress to impress and for interview success!

Showing Up Late

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Unless there was an unfortunate accident or horrible unexpected storm, there are not many other acceptable reasons to show up late to an interview. As per Michael Page Career Advice, "Unless you have a very good excuse and ring ahead to rearrange, turning up late for an appointment will not endear you to any employer." Their time is valuable, so wasting it will surely leave a sour taste in their mouth… before that first handshake.

As The Balance recommends, "Prepare your travel carefully and leave a cushion for unexpected delays. Arriving late can be a deal breaker and create the impression that you might be an irresponsible employee."

Save those "fashionably late" moments for your personal life. Don't forget, the early bird catches the worm. If you turn up too late, you may be shown the door before you're even invited inside.

Some other interview blunders?

  • Lying
  • Leaving your cell phone on… or worse, texting during the interview
  • Fidgeting
  • Poor posture
  • Bashing your previous boss or company
  • Getting too personal
  • Not making eye contact

Make the most of the interview experience by remembering to be yourself, remain confident, and speak clearly. Be honest, open, and show you are trustworthy, eager, and smart. Good luck!

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