Top 10 Interview Gaffes and No-Nos

Yes, interviews aren’t normal situations and can be stressful – I think we can all acknowledge that.

Hiring managers can be lenient to a point but there are some behaviours and actions that cannot be overlooked or ignored and will ensure that you don’t progress to the next stage or to a job offer.

Here are my Top 10!

  1. Being Late – first impressions are essential, and you will be on the back foot from the word ‘go’ if you are late – it also gives the impression that you are not a very good time manager or organiser.
  2. Too Casually Dressed – once again, create a good first impression and dress professionally. Even if the workplace dress code is casual in nature, you haven’t got the job yet so err on the side of caution and don’t come across as presumptuous. 
  3. Being Uninformed – research the basic stats and facts of the company – you may as well get up and leave if the first question is “What do you know about us”? and you can’t offer some basic details.
  4. Being Unprepared – at least have a copy of your CV and the position description in front of you and give the impression that you are organised and thorough in your approach.
  5. Bagging Your Former Employer – a big no-no! Gives the impression of a negative attitude and someone who ‘passes the buck’.
  6. Leaving Your Phone On – switch to silent or turn it off. This can be a pet hate of many people, especially those who could be conducting an interview!
  7. Poor Body Language & Attitude – this can display disinterest or arrogance so have some self-awareness as to how you may be projecting yourself. Have an attentive posture, nod to show understanding, make good eye contact and smile!
  8. Lying in Answers – this will eventually catch up with you, especially if what you have said cannot be confirmed in reference checking.
  9. ‘Waffling’ or Avoiding Questions – rambling on is one sure way to lose the attention and interest of interviewers. Being able to articulate yourself in a concise way is a skill so practice if need be. Similarly, avoiding answering certain questions by trying to dodge the key point in the question.
  10. Not Having Questions to Ask – this can show a lack of interest in the role or organisation so have 3-4 ready to ask at end of interview. These will also assist in establishing rapport with interviewers and show that you have done your homework and are well prepared.


Paul Bell

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