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Five Interview Snafus

Don't do thisWant to make your next interview a negative experience, then do these things. 1) Trash your former boss 2) Comment on the interviewer’s appearance 3) Show up late for the interview 4) Denigrate the company you are applying at 5) Tell them how to run their business. While you might have heard these interview tips several times already, you would be surprised that many interviewers still make these mistakes.

1) Trash your former boss

Showing disrespect in an interview is one of the biggest issues. Trashing your former boss – no matter how bad he or she has been – is simply a big mistake. This type of disrespect raises the warning flags for any potential hiring manager. Trashing your former manager is a big issue, because a new hiring manager would then assume you will do the same thing about him or her when the time comes and you are looking for a new job. No matter how bad your former manager was, do not mention it during a job interview. Simply state that you had a lot of respect for your former manager and even though might not agree with every decision he or she made, you followed the orders given to the dot. Mention the word “loyalty” and how you feel that it is important in a functional relationship between manager and a subordinate.

2) Comment on the interviewer’s appearance

Visual appearance is important. Pretty much all human beings judge people by their looks and their appearance. Fortunately we do this under the surface and usually don’t say it out loud. The world would collapse into a major war if everyone would simply say out loud what he or she thinks about somebody else based on visual appearance. Can you imagine? Well, don’t do it – especially not during an interview. But guess what, I am not just talking about negative comments, but also positive ones. An interview is the wrong place to make a comment how nice the hiring manager is dressed today.

3) Show up late for the interview

Really? You know that you have an interview and you still manage to show up late?! No matter how good and honest your explanation is, this one might count against you a lot. It is expected that you prepare for possible traffic jams and that you keep an eye on out the weather forecast. It is also expected that no matter how good or bad your form of transportation is that you manage to arrive at the place where the interview is conducted on time. If you get into an accident, call the police and then call the interviewing company and notify that you got into an accident and are not able to make it. Follow up with another phone call later on and try to re-schedule. Usually this might not be a problem, but understand that it is hard for the hiring manager to verify your claims and if there is the slightest doubt it will count against you.

4) Denigrate the company you are applying at

What is the definition of denigrate? According to Merriam Webster denigrating means to criticize someone unfairly. So, do you want the job or not? If you want the job, but do not like the company or the hiring manager then keep your mouth shut. It’s pretty simple – if you want the job you have to swallow your pride a little bit and keep your criticism to yourself – especially during the interview. But this piece of advice is not limited to the job interview, but also to your life outside of work. Don’t start bashing your own employer (or future employer) on Facebook and Twitter. You will have a hard time in court explaining your behavior while trying to get your job back after you were fired.

5) Tell them how to run their business

I’ve actually had this experience myself. I was interviewing somebody for an open position at a company I once worked at. Just based on some high level information the candidate started telling me how I would have to change certain procedures to be really efficient and on good ground with a certain technology. Don’t be one of those, you do not know why things are done a certain way at a company. While you can ask more detailed questions, use them to make up your mind about the position and if you would like to hire on. Don’t tell the hiring manager that he or she is completely wrong doing things a certain way – this will not come over very well.

There you have it. 5 easy ways to screw up during an interview. I hope this makes sense to you. A job interview is simply not the best place to know everything better and to teach people how to run their business. That is none of your business.

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