monster interview

5 Things to (Please) Avoid During an Interview

by Anne Middleton, on February 11th, 2015

Whether this is your inaugural job hunting experience or if you are already a seasoned veteran, locating employment can be stressful and chock-full of anxiety.

There are various elements of interviewing that are eternal “no-nos.”  These are five of the most highly damaging offenses:

1. Don’t be “fashionably late”
You may be a diva, insisting on making a grand entrance at every social occasion.  But the working world is a different ball of wax where punctuality is a prized possession.

You must alter your mindset and plan for the commute to your appointment in advance. Devise your schedule to arrive 15 minutes early, not 15 minutes late. No matter how bad traffic was or if you spilled coffee on your apparel, there is absolutely no excuse for reaching your destination after the prearranged time.

In fact, it is beneficial to be a bit paranoid about arriving promptly, to the point where you allow an extra half hour to reach the office.  If your meeting is in the morning and you always struggle to wake up and get out of bed, set more than one alarm.  “Better to be safe, than sorry.”

2. Restrain extreme enthusiasm
Naturally, you aspire to demonstrate sincere interest in the career opportunity and in the company you are eager to join. Entering the room with zestful energy and a smile is always welcoming.  But your movements and reactions must remain within professional limits.

For example, no matter how eager you feel, it is never appropriate to exhibit your enthusiasm by standing up and performing your “happy dance” during the interview.  No one is interested in your abilities to prance at the company holiday party.  There is a time and a place for everything and this is not the place to express yourself with a “Dancing with the Stars” audition.

3. Perks
We all love a vacation.  The thought of slacking off on a sunny beach or cutting the slopes on a custom designed snowboard is alluring to all of us.  But your preliminary session of questioning is not the time to interrogate the hiring manager on policies for time off, health benefits, free lunches or naps.

In other words, focus more on the job rather than the perks. If you execute a line of questioning on bonuses and incentives, you will provide the impression that you are just there for a paycheck. (And even if this is the truth, admitting it will cost you the offer for employment).

4. Past history
You may have a less than stellar job history.  (Most everyone has a skeleton or two from their former employment). Frequently, your potential manager will inquire about your most recent superior at your previous business.

If is not acceptable at any point to “diss” your former employer or disrespect your preceding boss.
If you are queried on this subject matter, keep your comments general, concise and make them overall positive. Criticism of your earlier situation labels you a “no hire.”

And you risk serious embarrassment as well.  What if your annoying former supervisor mingles socially or does business with the person you are interviewing with and you blurt out a negative comment? Can you say awkward?

5. Avoid even vibrating
From toddlers to senior citizens, everyone these days seems to worship their electronic devices.  A cell phone can act as your best buddy when you need to connect with companies to inquire about contract openings or to confirm a meeting with a prospective employer.  However, it should go without saying that you should never (ever) let your cell phone ring during an interview. Can you imagine your ring tone echoing loudly in the CEO's office?  It is a guaranteed kiss of death for your dream job.

Answering your Smart Phone during a hiring conversation is intolerable, distasteful and always results in a quick end to the interview. It is completely objectionable to even glance down at your phone if you believe you are receiving a text.  And even if you have your phone on vibrate, your potential boss may still hear its’ buzzing sound or find it disturbing seeing your pocket jiggle.

Don’t do it.  Period. End of story. Just turn it off.

Yes, interviewing can be overwhelming with oodles of rules and heaps of etiquette guidelines. But you can always turn to  This comprehensive site offers insightful conversation tips, flawless information on responding to tough questions and what actions to take after the meeting.

Log on and check out these valuable resources. Remember, you have less than a minute to make an impressive impact.