7 Deadly Interview Sins

by wpengine on July 22, 2014 in Guest Post, Job Search Tips, Workforce


Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Caitlin Olszewski

There’s no beating around the bush about it—interviews are scary. All of your achievements, education, and skills culminate and boil down into a firm handshake and a nerve-racking hour in a conference room. Many candidates research and Google interview tactics to help them find success in their next endeavor. We asked our recruiters what some of the biggest interview turn offs were and here’s what they had to say:

  • Sin #1 Sloth: Nothing is worse than showing up late for an interview. Mom’s age old adage, “To be early is to be on time; To be on time is to be late” holds true outside of the dinner table. The rule of thumb here is to be punctual but never be more than 15 minutes early. Think of it this way, your timeliness to show up to the interview reflects how you would treat projects in your job.

  • Sin #2 Pride: A little pride in your appearance goes a long way. Clean up your shave/brush your hair, put some shine in your shoes, and do not overdo it with the perfume/cologne. Basically do not come in with a Duck Dynasty beard or in the clubbing clothes you wore last night (I’ve actually seen it). Also, pro tip for phone interviews: treat the call as if you were being interviewed face to face. Yes, we can hear you flush the toilet.

  • Sin #3 Greed: Do not talk about salary or compensation in the first interview phase. Instead, focus on professional development, experience, and bringing value to your work.

  • Sin #4 Wrath: Something that happens all too often, with no reasonable explanation why, is candidates bad-mouthing their past employers. This raises huge red flags of “Is this person impossible to please? Will they quit the first time they experience something they don’t like? Will they be bad-mouthing us to future employers?” In lieu of shaming former management, simply discuss seeking new challenges or striving for professional development.

  • Sin #5 Envy: One of our recruiters said one of the biggest mistakes one of her candidates ever made was conveying to a client that she really wanted to work in a completely different industry than the one where she was interviewing! Needless to mention, no second interview for her. Make sure you read the job description and convey that you are a viable candidate for the role!

  • Sin #6 Gluttony: Do not ramble or go on tangents. Be sure to answer the question fully and elaborate where necessary but keep the incessant talking to a minimum. If the interviewer needs more information from you they will ask. Stay focused on the interview and the job for which you are applying—leave personal stories at the door!

  • Sin #7 Lust: Many people inquire about how to properly follow up after an interview. The important thing to remember here is not to be overly lustful. A very big red flag is to see five voicemails from a candidate within an hour. Follow up by writing some handwritten thank yous or shoot a quick email if the position is time sensitive. Show interest but don’t be desperate.

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