GOOD READS

10 Ways to Ruin a Job Interview

You can have the perfect resume and a compelling cover letter and show up for the job interview ready to impress, but get ready to forgo the job offer if you make one of these stumbles.

1. Being late. Arriving late to a job interview is often an instant deal-breaker. Hiring managers assume that you're on your best behavior while interviewing, so if you're late, they'll assume you'll be unreliable once on the job. Always allow more time than you'll need to get to your interview, so that you have a buffer in case something goes wrong.

[See our list of The 50 Best Careers.]

2. Being unprepared. Asking questions about the company that could have been answered with some basic research or not seeming familiar with the job description tells the employer that you didn't bother to do your homework.

3. Not showing enthusiasm. A job candidate who seems lackluster or unenthusiastic about the job prospect will almost certainly become an employee who isn't engaged with the work. Employers want candidates who seem committed and excited, so don't hesitate to articulate your interest in the job.

4. Being rude to the receptionist. Don't just be on your best behavior with your interviewer; make sure that you're polite to everyone you encounter. Many interviewers will ask the receptionist what they think of you. If you were rude or arrogant, that's usually a deal-breaker.

[See 5 Questions to Ask on Your Next Interview.]

5. Sounding bitter. Job searching is tough, especially in this market, but if you let an extended period of unemployment make you bitter, then you'll turn off potential employers. It's nearly impossible to hide bitterness if you feel it, so it's crucial to find ways to have a more positive outlook.

6. Not being able to give specific examples in response to questions. If you claim that you excel at problem-solving or that you're an innovative genius and then you aren't able to give specific examples, interviewers aren't going to believe you. Make sure to come to the interview prepared with specific examples from your past that show how you've used your skills at work.

7. Claiming you have no weaknesses. You might as well wear a sign saying, "I'm not being straightforward with you." If an employer asks you about your weaker areas and you can't or won't respond with a realistic assessment of areas where you could improve, you'll appear to be lacking in insight and self-awareness. You'll also make it impossible to have a real discussion about your potential fitness for the job. A good hiring manager genuinely cares about ensuring you'll excel at the job, and having an honest discussion of your fit is a crucial part of that.

8. Answering your cell phone in the middle of the interview. If you forget to turn your phone off and it rings, that's forgivable, but answering it isn't. If your phone rings mid-interview, look mortified and apologize profusely--and then turn it off.

[See How to Stand Out in a Phone Interview.]

9. Sharing inappropriately. Resist the impulse to talk about how much you hated your old company, or the fact that you dated your boss, or your family's medical problems. Employers want to know that you understand professional boundaries and have a sense of discretion.

10. Lying about anything. However much you might wish that you could change the facts about why you left your last job or say that you finished your degree when you really didn't, lying in a hiring process is an instant deal-breaker. Employers want to hire candidates with integrity, not people who show they're willing to lie. And while you might think you won't get caught, you never know whom your employer might know who knows the truth.

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Leader's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development. She now teaches other managers how to manage for results.

Twitter: @AskAManager



More From US News & World Report

Quiz: How well do you know India's economy?

Question 1

Which of these products is India the world's largest producer of?

Poll Choice Options
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Milk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Latest News

  • VW to keep adding Chinese capacity amid double-digit growth
    VW to keep adding Chinese capacity amid double-digit growth

    Volkswagen will keep adding capacity in China as the German group is counting on double-digit growth in the biggest auto market, helped by strong economic growth in interior regions. Europe's largest carmaker said in March 2013 it was planning to almost double production capacity in China to be able to make more than 4 million vehicles in its largest market by 2018. "We will further expand our capacities to be able to respond to the high market growth," Jochem Heizmann, head of VW's China …

  • India's forex reserves rise to $309.44 bn

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) India's foreign exchange (forex) reserves rose by $2.79 billion to $309.44 billion for the week ended April 11, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed. There was a sharp jump in ... …

  • Landslides close Jammu-Srinagar highway

    Jammu, April 19 (IANS) Heavy downpour triggered landslides in the Ramban sector of Jammu-Srinagar highway Saturday, leading to the closure of the road for vehicular traffic. Traffic officials said nightlong rain triggered landslides in Ramban sector, 150 km from winter capital Jammu, on Saturday. "Traffic on the highway has been suspended because of landslides at some places in Ramban sector of Jammu-Srinagar highway today. "Intending passengers are advised to contact the traffic control …

  • China Resources chairman sacked amid corruption investigation
    China Resources chairman sacked amid corruption investigation

    A Chinese executive under investigation for suspected corruption has been sacked as chairman of powerful state-owned conglomerate China Resources Holdings Co. Ltd., the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday. Citing an official with the Organization Department of the ruling Communist Party's Central Committee, Xinhua said Song Lin was fired because he was suspected of "serious discipline and law violations" - party shorthand for corruption. Song appears to be the latest official to fall …

  • Health Care Spending’s Recent Surge Stirs Unease

    Policy experts wonder whether the government and private businesses can control spending as the economy gets stronger and millions more Americans gain coverage. …

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS & INTERVIEWS

  • This might well be India’s biggest Ponzi scam

    It was just too good to be true. Ashok Khital, 45, displays every symptom of a man who knows he's been conned. …

  • India's star studded football league

    High and mighty including Sachin, Salman & Sun Group buy ISL teams …

  • Leaderspeak with Rajesh Janey

    Rajesh Janey, President - India & SAARC, EMC shares many firsts in his life. …

  • Seed of Doubt

    Field trials have been allowed again in India. But two decades after their global launch, genetically modified (GM) crops remain controversial. …

  • Power Hungry

    Gujarat has power round-the-clock. Most other states do not. Why this will matter in the general elections. …

  • Etcetera

    The most keenly watched contest of the current general election will be the one for the Varanasi parliamentary seat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi squares off ... …

  • Economy vs Democracy

    As the country gets election fever, cash comes out of mattresses and turns into liquor, gifts, and food. But it is not bad for the health of the economy, reports Sarika Malhotra from the trenches. …

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    16.52+0.88+5.63%
    UNITECH.BO
    73.85+3.05+4.31%
    HDIL.BO
    13.36+0.25+1.91%
    SUZLON.BO
    718.55-6.70-0.92%
    HDFCBANKSL.BO
    57.40+2.75+5.03%
    JAIPRA.BO
  • Price % Gainers
    Price % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    12.60+2.10+20.00%
    AGRIMONY.BO
    242.50+40.40+19.99%
    ACRYSIL.BO
    83.50+13.90+19.97%
    SICAL.BO
    46.00+7.65+19.95%
    SHRGLTR.BO
    65.25+10.85+19.94%
    AHLUCONT.BO
  • Price % Losers
    Price % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    11.60-2.70-18.88%
    ANISHAIMPEX.BO
    51.10-8.85-14.76%
    WINSOMTX.BO
    11.70-1.30-10.00%
    BLCISER.BO
    425.00-40.00-8.60%
    GCMSECU.BO
    59.40-5.55-8.55%
    JBML.BO
  •  
    Recent Quotes
    Symbol Price Change % ChgChart 
    Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
    You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
  • Recent Quotes News

    •  
      Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

    Yahoo Cricket