In a job interview, you are being considered as a whole entity, not just for your skills and experience – but also for your character, cultural fit, and attention to detail.
For example, a smoker would lose out to a non-smoker 94% of the time, according to a study from Seattle University.
With that in mind, here are the behaviours to avoid at all costs according to Richard Bolles, author of “Guide to Rethinking Interviews.”
1. Arrogance or excessive aggression is a sure fire turn-off. You needn’t be humble, but do exhibit some savoir faire and confidence – without over-doing it.
2. Tardiness or failure to keep appointments without an excellent reason and not calling ahead to let the interviewer know you are held up; impossible to do from the subway so leave early.
3. Laziness or lack of ambition and motivation can come out in the speed in which you deliver your message as well as the SAR (Situation, Action-taken, Result) stories you choose to tell. People who do volunteer work while unemployed are seen as ambitious and motivated.
4. Activities you were engaged in in the past that could indicate signs of irresponsibility or a tendency to slack off cause red flags to go up.
5. Appearing disinterested or indifferent to work. Any lack of enthusiasm for the organization or the one you previously worked for can translate into low enthusiasm for this job as well. You need to exude energy in your wording and in your demeanor. Light a firecracker under yourself – be passionate.
6. Too much job hopping might put an interviewer off unless you can rationalize your flexibility and ambition attached to the changes.
7. Too casual an attitude, being too familiar too quickly, slouching in the chair, leaning on your face, insistently tapping a pen, playing with body parts or other nervous behavior could lower your likeability factor.
8. Demonstrating a lack of willingness to go the extra mile, such as being tied to a 9-5 schedule. Many jobs now require flexible hours. Share examples of where you put in more than 100% which highlight your loyalty and dedication.
9. Showing up with unpolished shoes. Yes, it is true that the first thing an interview looks at when they first meet you is your shoes. Show your attention to detail by giving them a shine.
Think about more than the stuff you’ve listed on your resume. Try to look to the whole of how you come across as a potential team-member to future employers. Avoid making the mistakes that might cause them to doubt that you’d be an asset.
Colleen Clarke, Career Specialist & Corporate Trainer
Author of Networking: How to Build Relationships That Count, How to Get a Job and Keep It
Co-author of The Power of Mentorship; The Mastermind Group