27 February 2017
What is stopping you from getting that job? Bad habits revealed

A job interview is your time to shine. Yet, not all interviews are successful.

Business Insider discovered 21 recurring bad habits stopping candidates from getting the job. Some are blindingly obvious (and funny), some you wonder why a person would and some are absolutely avoidable if working alongside the right recruitment consultant.

To help you avoid letting bad habits shine through at the worst moment, take a look at the following to ensure you do not fool foul to one of these:

  1. They haven’t done their homework

“Employers take note of candidates that are educated on the responsibilities of the job opening in question and on the company itself,” Rosemary Haefner, Chief Human Resources Officer for CareerBuilder, said. “This demonstrates that you made the decision to apply for the job after considering the facts, rather than out of desperation.”

  1. They skip breakfast

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Lisa De Fazio, Health expert told the publication that if breakfast is skipped, “blood-sugar levels are low, it’s much harder to focus and you’re more likely to feel tired, irritable, and impatient,” all of which contribute to performance.

  1. They smell of smoke

Vicky Oliver, Author of ‘301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions,’ advises candidates to never smoke anything before a job interview.

“Your interviewer will smell it on you,” she says. “If she’s a smoker, she may not mind, but most interviewers gave up the nicotine habit.” She adds that drinking alcohol is never a good idea. Whilst it can help calm nerves, it dulls the senses, explains Oliver, which runs the risk of not sounding intelligent.

  1. They turn up late

TopResume’s Career Expert, Amanda Augustine, and Business Insider’s Director of Talent, Stephanie Fogle suggests candidates should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early, and spend that time preparing in a coffee shop close by. Turning up too early, they warn, can be frustrating for the hiring manager.

  1. They’ve got poor hygiene

Author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom,” says that if candidates have poor hygiene, it could detract from their answers to questions. Also, a “lack of effort in your appearance can be construed as potentially lacking effort in your work and work area,” she says.

  1. They dress inappropriately

Randall adds that: “Sloppy clothes scream ‘I don’t care!’ and are a sure-fire way to put off those around you.”

Dressing too formally could also indicate that a candidate hasn’t done their research. 

  1. They text

Oliver advises that even when candidates turn up early, they shouldn’t text while they wait otherwise they look as if they’d rather be elsewhere.

  1. They start grooming themselves

Oliver says candidates should do any touch ups in the bathroom – rather than being caught topping up their lipstick by their potential employer.

  1. They bring too much stuff

Of course, candidates need to bring their portfolio and copies of their CV but anything else is superfluous. Randall suggests leaving any drinks or their mobile phone in the car so they are free to shake hands.

  1. They talk without thinking

This one goes without saying, but even slipping up to the receptionist can crush a candidate’s chance.

  1. They’re too informal

“While I’m not promoting a formal, ‘How do you do?’ -style greeting, you might consider stepping it up a bit when you’re introducing yourself to the person who will be determining whether you get the job or not,” Randall advises.

  1. They give off a negative vibe

“If you doubt your abilities or see only the worst possible outcome, your interviewer might pick up on that negative energy,” says Haefner. “Similarly, it’s important not to badmouth a former boss, co-worker, or employee during any stage of the interview process.”

Randall adds that candidates should walk into the interview with a mix of confidence and humility – rather than arrogance – should smile and show enthusiasm.

  1. They’re too demanding

It’s important for candidates to ask questions, however, certain requests before they even have the job can make them look rather high-maintenance. Randall suggests steering clear of irrelevant questions that can be asked once they’ve got the job: “Can I sit by a window? It helps with my hourly meditation.”

  1. They overshare

“Naturally, the purpose of an interview is to impress the company with your talent and skills,” Randall says. “But be aware of oversharing; they may learn more about you than they need to.”

To avoid oversharing, she suggests following these rules: Keep it relevant. Leave your childhood out of it. Don’t insist on special favours or accommodations. And don’t use the term “deal breaker.”

  1. They swear

Randall says that swearing demonstrates that a candidate is unable to deal with a situation calmly and thoughtfully. “Using foul words or questionable language is not only a bad habit, but in most places of business, it’s still considered unprofessional and can even land you in Human Resources for a little chat,” she adds.

  1. They appear too shy

For shy candidates, they may want to get out of the interview as soon as possible, which means that their answers may be rushed, quiet or short.

Harvard Business School Professor, Amy Cuddy suggests candidates should take their time to answer a question, which shows that you’re taking the other person seriously and conveys a sense of power.

“When someone asks you a question,” she said, “trust that they really want you to answer it thoughtfully. So, don’t even be afraid to pause before you answer it. Reflect; don’t jump right in.”

  1. They interrupt

“It’s rude to interrupt. When you do, it shows others that you don’t have any respect, judgment, or patience,” Randall says.

  1. They have poor body language

“What you say in an interview is as important as how you say it, and bad body language takes away from your words,” Haefner says.

In a recent CareerBuilder survey, employers cited some of the biggest body-language mistakes jobseekers make include failing to make eye contact, failing to smile, and bad posture.

Nervous habits like jingling your keys, shaking your leg, and scratching your head can also come across as boredom, Randall says.

  1. They tell white lies

In a recent CareerBuilder survey, 69% of employers said that catching a candidate lying about something is an instant deal breaker, Haefner says.

“Lying or exaggerating during the hiring process can destroy your chances of ever being hired with that employer,” she continues. “And because of extensive background checks and references that come into play before an offer is made, it’s easier to be caught than you might think.”

  1. They are too eager

Following up immediately after with questions such as “How did I do?” are off-putting, so advise your candidates to be patient and mindful that the decision won’t be made straight away.

  1. They’re not present mentally

Oliver says wishing the job interview was over quicker is a huge mistake for candidates.

“Of course, you want it to be over, but while you’re there in front of the interviewer, you must work to stay mentally present,” she says. “Interviewers know when you are not there mentally.”

If you have any questions about preparing for an interview or are looking for a new job, then get in touch with us today.

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