5 Bad Habits To Avoid While Interviewing

Something extremely important for job seekers to keep in mind when interviewing for any position at any level within a company are their behaviors and their manners.  It is vital that job seekers put their best foot forward when they are interviewing for jobs.  Some executive level people may refuse to fill out an application form when coming in for an interview because they think they are above applications.  Other high level candidates may demand a specific beverage and forget to say thank you, even if the receptionist hadn’t offered them a drink yet.  Sometimes candidates at all levels walk in chewing gum and chewing it loudly.  The noise can easily be something that bothers people and gum chewing in general can be seen as rude and unprofessional.  Things like this can easily turn even the best candidate into the worst candidate and cost them the job.  Here are 5 bad habits of job seekers that you will want to keep in mind when going in for an interview.

1.  Manners.  No matter what you should treat everyone with respect.  If you are an executive, don’t ignore or try and hurry through lower level manager interviews.  Say please and thank you to the Receptionists, Assistants and Secretaries.  Sometimes they have a say on who gets hired based on how they were treated by you.  Companies want to know that new executives and managers won’t think of support staff as disposable human capital.  Don’t put your feet up on a table or on the interviewer’s desk.  If you are given a drink or snacks, chew with your mouth closed and quietly and don’t sip your drink loudly.  Leave your cell phone in your car or make sure it is on silent or turned off during your interview.  You also don’t want to answer it for any reason.  Lastly, remember to shake everyone’s hand and thank everyone who interviews you for their time.  Manners can be the deciding factor between who gets hired and who doesn’t.

2.  Dress appropriately.  Even if the office is casual or you know they have a casual Friday, remember that you are not an employee yet.  Unless you are told specifically by the main decision maker to dress casually, go with formal wear.  It is key to look your best and some interviewers may think you are unprofessional if you show up in casual wear.  If they have to bring you to meet clients or investors they want to make sure that you understand how to dress.  Showing up for an interview in casual wear could give the impression you don’t know when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate to wear casual clothing.  Putting your best foot forward includes your appearance.  Comb your hair, wear clean clothes without old stains and press out any wrinkles.

3.  Be cautious of your smell.  With this one I am not talking about smelling yourself before you go in for an interview.  Yes you should always shower so you don’t smell like you just left a gym, but you should also be careful of any external scents that you may use.  Wearing too much cologne or perfume can be a turn off, especially if the people interviewing you are allergic to the scent you are wearing.  If you are a smoker you may want to try and avoid smoking before an interview and make sure your clothes do not smell like smoke.  If you use shampoos or scrubs that have a strong odor, switch for the day to something less strong.  Smelling the wrong way can cause someone to get a bad impression of you.  If they would decide to hire you and you will be working near them in the office, they may not want to have to smell that scent everyday.  Because of this you may lose the job.  Be cautious of your odors before you interview and try to keep yourself smelling as neutral as possible.


4.  Don’t be negative.  Not many hiring managers enjoy people that only say negative things.  Try to not focus on negative things like a recession or how there are to many people unemployed.  Think about positive things on a negative topic like even though there was a recession you were able to help boost sales.  Talk about good things that happen during recessions like how many start ups have formed and that many Fortune 500 companies have actually been built during a recession.  It is important to show that you will help to keep people’s spirits up if you are hired, not bring everyone down.

5.  Don’t demand or make requests before you get an offer.  One thing that is bad to do before you actually get an offer is to demand an office or say that you need to be in the corner cube with a window view.  If you start making demands or requesting things before they have even made a decision on who to hire, you may be seen as an employee that would be needy and not as productive if you don’t get your way.  Even worse you may viewed as being difficult to get along with which can easily cost you the job.


Interviewing is about marketing yourself in every way you can think of.  It’s important to remember to have manners when you are interviewing for a job.  You also want to look your best and make sure you don’t have any odors coming off yourself.  You should think about things from the interviewer’s perspective and how they may react to demands and requests.  You should hold back from certain demands with salary or benefits or your own office until they have made the decision to hire you.  Once you have the job offer in hand you can then talk about what you would like or need.  Once you sign the offer and go in for your first day of work then you can start to join the company with casual clothes for casual friday.  Remember to always be yourself but also put your best foot forward when interviewing with a company.

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