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How not to behave in a job interview

In many ways, a job interview is like a first date; you need to make a superb first impression, look the part and charm the other party. You also want your meeting to have been memorable, as well as, of course, making them think you were a suitable applicant. Sometimes, however, trying to be unforgettable doesn't always equate to being the right person for the job.

The website Career Builder, which specialises in hooking up job seekers with employers, should have an idea of how to conduct oneself in an interview. And not too long ago they conducted a study into the worst missteps that interviewees have made in the past. Some of them are classic mistakes that most have made in their working life; others not so much.


For instance, the biggest error, that a person can make when being interviewed, is to act disinterested. To some this is an obvious no-no, but 55% of those looking to fill a role said it was the most common blunder. To avoid this, there are some glaringly obvious, as well as not so blatant, things to overcome. In terms of body language, it's important to not slouch in addition to maintaining eye contact (but not in a creepy intense way) and when speaking, remember to do so with gusto.


Secondly, 'dressing inappropriately' is something that really winds up employers. So, don't wear your t-shirt with a hilarious slogan that arrived from Amazon the night before. It won't impress anyone in the workplace, especially if they've had to talk to loads of applicants that day that took the time to wear a lovely crisp shirt and tie combo.

Career Builder report that the most radical example of this was someone who arrived in a jogging outfit and informed them that they were going for a run after. You're not Bill Gates; you cannot get away with such quirky attire, so suit up.

Having said this, pay attention to any clues given. I once had an interview with one of those uber-trendy Hoxton-based magazines, who demanded in an email that I wear my 'usual' attire, which I found to be slightly affected. Weirdly, I like to hang out in an off-white tuxedo, so the joke was on them.


Other hilarious (and I hope isolated) incidents that the career website uncovered included a hopeful performing a scene from Star Trek. Now, J.J. Abrams' revival of the franchise makes many people happy, but unless the job you're going for is for a speaking role in Star Trek 3, then maybe don't do that.

But perhaps that isn't as bad as the person that wore their headphones throughout, or a guy who checked their Facebook wall, or the pryo who set fire to a newspaper when they were given the task of having to impress the boss. Perhaps the most offensive of things to have happened was an interviewee who challenged the fathership of an interviewer's daughter. You really have to have guts to think that will get you on a company's payroll.

So when you’re prepping for your next interview, remember to be memorable in a way that makes them want to give you a job, not phone the local authorities.