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11 quick and easy ways to really 'screw up' an interview!

16 February 2017

Chewing gum, turning up late, and even swearing – things recruiters know all too well will most likely land a candidate’s CV in the bin, not on the client’s table.

Whilst recruiters are great at reminding candidates what they should do before, during and after that all-important interview, they still seem to be making these rookie mistakes, costing them the job.

Here are a few things that candidates can do if they want to really screw up their chances!

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. This demonstrates that you made the decision to apply for the job after considering the facts, rather than out of desperation.

2. They skip breakfast

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 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.

3. They smell of smoke

Never smoke anything before a job interview.

Your interviewer WILL smell it on you. If they are a smoker, they may not mind, but most interviewers gave up the nicotine habit. Drinking alcohol is never a good idea either. Whilst it can help calm nerves, it dulls the senses which runs the risk of not sounding intelligent.

4. They turn up late

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 can be frustrating for the hiring manager though, so get the balance right.

5. They’ve got poor hygiene

If candidates have poor hygiene, it could detract from their answers to questions. A lack of effort in your appearance can be construed as potentially lacking effort in your work and work area.

6. They dress inappropriately

Sloppy clothes scream 'I don't care! They just do, and they 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.

7. They text

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

8. They start grooming themselves

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

9. They bring too much stuff

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

10. They talk without thinking

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

11. They’re too informal

While 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.

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