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What NOT to do during a job interview

by Yellow

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Sitting through a job interview is undoubtedly very nerve-racking. The pressure is on to say and do the right things. You want to make a great first impression and land that coveted job.

Truth be told, hiring managers are often aware of the stressful nature of the situation and are willing to close an eye to certain nervous behaviours. However, there are some actions that are deemed outright unacceptable. We've put together a list of interview no-nos for you to keep in mind to ensure you ace that job interview.

Arriving late

If you turn up late on the day of the interview, you might as well introduce yourself by saying: “Hi. I'm an unreliable planner who doesn't give a hoot about other people's time”. No excuse is good enough. And don't even try to blame traffic.

Turning up late shows that you don't care about making a good impression and suggests you don't really want the job. Besides, if you're running late you're not doing yourself a favour either, since you'll end up being more nervous. So plan ahead.


Here's the key to dressing appropriately for a job interview: dress like an eager applicant. Even if the organisation you want to join has a relaxed work environment, where everyone wears shorts and flip flops, keep in mind that you don't have the job yet. No need to go overboard, but make sure you are well put together and look smart and professional.

Bonus tip: Beware of strong perfumes. They can be a job repellent. So, if you're one who can't leave the house without spraying on some scent, ensure that it's gentle and unobtrusive.

Being uninformed

When you apply for a job it is understood that you are interested in the actual work you'd be doing. Turning up for an interview uniformed gives the impression that you're not. Nowadays there is no excuse to justify your lack of knowledge since information is just an internet search away.

Make sure you read up about the company - its structure, values, vision and position in the market. Be up to date about what's going on in the industry. Once you're armed with these details, feel free to ask questions. This will show you are genuinely interested.



Nobody likes to be surrounded by negative people and a recruiter wants to make sure he or she doesn't employ an office mood hoover. Make sure you stay positive.

Focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. If there's something you don't know, be honest and point out how you're eager to learn. Don't go on a rant about the bad state of the economy or the industry. And never, ever, ever bad mouth your previous employer or other job applicants.

Looking desperate

No matter how much you want or need the job, try not to put the weight of the world on the shoulders of your interview by making it look like a life-death situation. Focus on telling your interviewer how you can contribute to the company. Let your skills, qualifications and personality do the rest of the convincing.

Bonus tip: Don't ramble. Make sure to answer questions clearly and concisely. Stay focused on the subject and avoid oversharing. Your interviewer does not need to know every single detail about your life.


One thing that is sure to get you struck off the shortlist - is arrogance. Not to be confused with confidence, arrogant behaviour emits a sense of cockiness and superiority. So, if you know that you can come across that way, tone yourself down and make sure you don't cross the line.

Bonus tip: Don't flirt. This is an absolute no-no. Apart from coming across as unprofessional, you will be sending out the wrong type of message.

Lie about your qualities

As tempting as it might be, don't try to make your interviewer believe you have skills which you don't, or lie about your past experience. Even if you're not caught out immediately, chances are that time will tell. So if you do get the job, you won't make it through your probation period. This will not look good on your CV. So keep things honest.

Focus on the money

You should want the job for more than the financial package. Your employer is seeking someone who has a passion for the industry. So make sure not to steer the conversion towards the salary subject too early. The time will come to negotiate the package. So be patient and wait till you get to the second, or third, interview.

Now that you know what not to do during a job interview, you can go ahead and apply for your dream job. So, if you've decided to switch your career path, contact any of the employment agencies listed on Yellow.

Discover a job you love - www.yellow.com.mt


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