5 Lousy Interview Habits That Can Torpedo Your Job Prospect – REPURPOSE

A recruiter knows. A recruiter spends a lot of time with prospects, both on the hiring side and on the employee side and no two individuals are alike, we see the full spectrum. With this experience, we spend a lot of time discussing candidates with hiring managers after the interview, and well, we learn a lot. Our ultimate goal is to connect employers to prospects, but it doesn’t always go as planned.

There are times where the person being interviewed rubs the manager so wrong, that they eliminate themselves from the running entirely! That’s a possible career down the tubes for chewing gum or thinking that showing your underwear band is, for some unconscionable reason, fashionable; it’s not.

We put together several of our most memorable pet peeves that hiring managers tend to react unfavourably to. We hope this list helps you feel more comfortable at your next interview. And remember, just be yourself!

The Arrive Way Too Early Keener

Of course, showing up late for an interview is a dreadful first impression, however, you can also arrive too early. If you arrive super early to a meeting, you’re not displaying pro-activeness, you’re showing up at the wrong time. Arriving 10 or 15 minutes early could put undue pressure on your interviewer to stop what they’re doing or prematurely end another meeting. It could be considered disrespectful of their time to show up crazy early.

Consider hanging out in your car for a few more minutes or sip that coffee a bit slower. showing up on time is the sweet spot; 5 minutes early is just fine. See that giant watch on your wrist, use it.

Woman resting chin on hand wearing watch

Beep Boop Blarp Over-Rehearsed Interview Robot

Certainly, it’s important to be prepared for an interview, but there’s a difference between preparedness and awkwardly rehearsed. Agonizing over articles, memorizing the best responses to the most common interview questions, or heaven forbid, reading from notes is a bad sign. Remember the be yourself rule above? This is where that goes.

Over preparing like this is easily identified because you will come across as disingenuous and flaccid. Or worse, over-confident. Be natural and organic in your approach to answering questions. Pause and think for a moment and be yourself.

Man in light coloured suit sitting at desk ready for interview

You Didn’t Need to Say That – Too Much Info, Bro!

Most good interviewers will give some time for a free form moment where they ask you about yourself, your hobbies, or neat things about you. They also want to make sure that you are a good fit for the company and culture that they’re fostering. Keep it light! You can lose an interview with one lousy comment so keep that DUI to yourself and nobody gives a hoot about your tattoos, really.

The TMI zone is what this is called and it’s the bane of any interview. Steer clear of this bottomless pit, you’ll have a hard time getting back out if you slip in. Even during the most conversational, relaxed interview, there’s a level of professionalism that you must keep behind. Don’t get drawn into the trap! Just keep it to yourself and stay on topic.

It’s Not What Your Employer Can Do For You, It’s What You Can Do For Your Employer!

Take this to heart. During that interview, your only job is to persuade the company that they will be better off with you! The whole conversation should centre around how you will help them based on your experience, track record, job focus, etc… All the usual things. The time for the what’s in it for you moment might not even come at this stage.

If your interviewer starts to get the impression that you’re more interested in what you get, they may start to question your motivations and might consider you a possible drain on their resources. You’re there to sell yourself, not the other way around, that time will come.


Show Your Appreciation & Politeness

This sort of book-ends against the last point of not appearing to ‘needy’. This tip asserts that you show appreciation and gratitude for being given the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with your potential new company. How do you do that? It’s easy, your mom might have taught you; say thank you! Kindness and courtesy go a very long way but is surprisingly rare given our perpetually competitive nature. You’ll stand above the crowd by giving your interviewer a convincing thank you as you part ways in hoping to meet again.

“It was a pleasure to meet you, I’m looking forward to the next time” will put a positive spin on the meeting and an impression that you are still motivated to pursue this position. “Thank you for your time”, is another hugely respectful close that shows you appreciate the time investment that they spent with you. It just takes a second and might just win you that job.

Was It Really That Hard?

Those points above might be no-brainers to a lot of you, but unless they’re pointed out, we sometimes don’t know that we’re doing them. We hope these few little points will go a long way to help you secure your perfect position. And, to reiterate, you just need to be prepared (but not too much), be honest and authentic, show them the real you so neither of you is disappointed down the road. Be on time and say, THANK YOU! 🙂