Avoid these 34 things in a Job Interview and you’ll be fine…

So we recently published a blog on the Secrets of Interviewing – it was more of a checklist of Do’s for Job Seekers about to attend an interview; but after much discussion among the team, we thought we’d also publish a list of Don’ts too – after all, you can never be over-prepared!

Interestingly, the Don’ts were far easier to write. There are so many things job seekers assume, forget and do at an interview which they shouldn’t! And as specialist recruiters, we think we’ve seen them all. Almost every point below is a result of a real-life situation, preamble with “do you remember the time when Job Seeker X did…..”.

If we start at the beginning… almost before you even get there!!

Don’t be nervous – a little bit of nerves is good. It helps keep you on your toes. The more you practice, the easier the interview will become.

Don’t forget what version of your CV they’ve got (we know so many applicants have different versions of CV’s, dependent on the job you’re actually applying for). Make sure you remember and ensure the details you discuss tally.

Don’t leave it all to the last minute (the train, the research, the anything). The key is in the preparation, if you leave it too late you’re destined for failure (please don’t tell me you thrive on the adrenaline… just make sure you’re prepared!).

Don’t be late – punctuality is key. If you turn up late, you’re never going to be able to change that impression. If you are late, apologise!

Don’t forget your interviewer’s name or confuse them with another company you’ve applied to – yes, we’ve seen it happen and it doesn’t leave a good impression!

Don’t chew gum – chomping your way through an interview really does tend to annoy most interviewers

Don’t arrive drunk – even if you’re interviewed over lunch or meet after work in a bar – don’t get drunk (even if your interviewer does!) it never reflects well and you’re the one wanting to get the job!

Don’t take your shoes off halfway through (or even at the end). Would you believe it, we had a young lady change her shoes (albeit at the end of the interview) when she was on the client site. She couldn’t wait 5 minutes to take her shoes off – our client interviewing was horrified as you can imagine!

Don’t dress down – Even though Digital is a relaxed and creative industry, please attempt to be the best dressed one in the room rather than the most casual – at least a shirt with a collar and no trainers! You can check out our Pinterest board for interview outfit ideas!

Don’t stink of ciggies (or anything else!). Too much perfume or aftershave is almost as bad as ciggies and/or alcohol.

Don’t get flustered – keep calm, remember what your goal is and focus on the questions and interviewer.

Don’t be too matey – don’t get lulled into relaxing too much. This is an interview with your future employer, not your best mate. They may well have the reputation for being a friendly bunch, but you’re not one of the bunch yet. Be your best professional self.

Don’t forget body language – maintaining eye contact (not a glaring eyeball to eyeball type though), posture (not slumped and definitely no defensive crossed arms), demeanor (friendly and enthusiastic) and handshake (a great way to finish an interview with a firm handshake). And definitely NO Yawning!.

Don’t assume – (the interviewer may not know what was on your cover letter) better you highlight your strong points then and there, reinforcing why you’re most appropriate for the job!

Don’t give one-word answers – this can be interpreted as not caring or having no passion or enthusiasm.  The interviewer in not a mind reader

Don’t be silent – if you’re stuck in answering a question either approach it differently or ask them if you can come back to that in a minute.

Don’t over do it on makeup – first impressions count, make it a good one!

Don’t ramble – keep focused, make sure you answer the question. Waffling on about an irrelevant topic makes it hard for the interview to focus on your strengths and keep the interview on track.

Don’t swear – we know our industry does tend to swear a lot. Whilst we’re generally a lot more tolerant, the interview is not the place for this.

Don’t lie or over embellish – keep your answers accurate, don’t exaggerate or over-inflate your skills. If you’re lucky enough to get the job, and you do this – you’ll be caught out.

Don’t be boring – our industry is so fast-paced and demands for the best talent are high. If you’re boring at interview it’s unlikely you’ll be selected. So even if your discussions are on a dry subject, make sure you’re fully engaged and committed to the conversation.

Don’t beg – not nice to see someone beg, no matter how desperate you are for that job!

Don’t flirt – not the way to get the job. Whether man or woman, get the job on your own professional merits!

Don’t fidget – present yourself well. Fidgeting distracts from what you’re saying and makes it hard for the interviewer to concentrate. It also doesn’t reflect well on you; keeping yourself focused, stopping your leg from bouncing or spinning the pen round and round allows a better flow of the interview.

Don’t check your mobile or answer a call! Your mobile should be off or at least silent at an interview.

Don’t let your mind wander or get distracted. We’ve seen this happen, where the interview room was warm and the interview long. Our candidate had essentially drifted… we won’t call it “fell asleep”… but near enough. Make sure you tune in, are fully focused and if it’s an extremely hot day – ask for a window to be opened, air con on or a glass of water!

Don’t accept the job if you don’t want it (ask for time to consider it and take a moment to see if this really is the job you want). If you accept it, do it because you mean it. There’s nothing more annoying for an employer to have someone accept – they let all the other applicants down and then you let them down (because you got that other job offer!).

Don’t be rude – there’s no need for it

Don’t jump the gun – talking about money or holiday allowance sends the wrong message; wait for them to bring it up or at least the 2nd interview.

Don’t over inflate your salary expectations. Here at clockworkTalent, we’ll be hand-holding you and the employer through the process, so don’t suddenly add another £10k to your salary because you think the job warrants it!

Don’t talk badly – about others in the industry or your last employer – everyone knows everyone!

Don’t be defensive – they’re the interviewer, they’re supposed to question you!

Don’t forget to ring clockworkTalent and let them know how you thought it went!

Last but not least….

Don’t bring your Mum. It’s you who’s being interviewed, there is no need for your Mum to wait for you at the reception!

If you’ve found yourself in the position to look for a new career opportunity in digital marketing whether it’s SEO, Outreach, Content, PPC or eCommerce, we can help! Reach out to Natasha via our website or call us on +44(0) 203 7514108.