What Not To Do In a Job Interview

Don't Swear
Don't Swear
Don't Drink
Don't Drink
Don't Do Drugs
Don't Do Drugs
Don't Fart
Don't Fart
Don't Burp
Don't Burp
Don't Chew Gum
Don't Chew Gum
Don't Be Late
Don't Be Late

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After having the privilege of being able to sit in on some interviews I have learned that there are a few things that you really should not do. These might seem simple to some but then again if I have seen it happen before it might mean that some people just do not understand that the interview is the first and lasting impression and there for you should show your best side possible. First impressions should not be taken lightly. Here are some helpful hints of what not to do in an interview.

  1. SWEAR – Swearing in an interview is just not necessary even if it is for emphasis. Try and use other words that won’t shock your interviewer. At one interview the interviewee was looking through her briefcase for some additional information and kept swearing under her breath. I am certain that she did not realize she was doing it at all and no one in the room said anything although we were all looking at each other in shock.
  2. COME TO THE INTERVIEW DRUNK OR HIGH – Although you might think that this will give you an edge in the interview, it does not. The smell of alcohol on your breath or the blood shot eyes does not look good in an interview. Sure you can use mouthwash and eye drops but there are still other factors that make your actions questionable. If you want the job come to the interview sober and give it your best shot. After the interview do what you want.
  3. FART – Although passing gas is a natural occurrence there is a time and place for everything. I actually sat in on an interview where the interviewee was obviously so nervous that they had no control over their bowels. The only problem was that we were in a small conference room that was warm and it did not make for a wonderful experience. I can understand an occasional slip but for it to be constant means that you either need medical assistance or you should take a trip to the restroom prior to the interview.
  4. BURP – Another natural bodily function that is sometimes hard to suppress. However it is important to do what you can to suppress that function and if you cannot at least try to be discrete and excuse yourself. Things happen its how you act when they do happen that can make or break a deal. Most interviewers are understanding to a certain point so just the same you should try to be as polite and professional as possible.
  5. CHEW GUM – Chewing gum is not very attractive especially when you are answering questions and trying to have a discussion. It is particularly annoying when the gum makes that smacking sound or it is being popped in the mouth. Also having the urge to blow bubbles only makes the matter worse nothing like blowing and popping a huge bubble in the middle of an interview. So spit out the gum before going to the interview to save embarrassment from doing any of these things.
  6. MAKE UNUSUAL FACIAL EXPRESSIONS – Facial expressions can help you in an interview if you use the appropriate ones at the right time. However making awkward expressions can kill an interview. Screwing up your face or making the bitter beer face will not help you to land the job. Try to smile throughout the interview and stay positive; do not force the smile making it obviously fake. Be aware of the faces that you are making during the interview.
  7. ASK WHAT THE COMPANY DOES – You should not have to ask what the company does, you should come to the interview prepared. Before coming to the company, research it by going online or doing other forms of research. Doing research will help you to be able to ask questions that are appropriate for the interview. Know your information and study for your interview this will get you noticed in the company.
  8. BE LATE – Be on time to the interview or early if need be. Being late can be problematic especially if the interviews are being given back-to-back. Being late means you are cutting into their interviewing time. Some interviewers dock points for being late so you are already losing points before you even get started. Avoid being late and plan ahead so that you are not, even if it means taking a practice run to the building so you know how far you have to go.
  9. TELL THE INTERVIEWER YOU CAN TAKE THEIR JOB – When speaking of your skills it is important to ensure the interviewer that you do have the skill set necessary. However do not try and state that you should really be going for the interviewer’s job especially if they are the ones managing the position. Whether your skills are better than the interviewers is really a moot point since you are not going for their job. Doing this will be selling yourself short instantly.
  10. TELL THE INTERVIEWER HOW HOT THEY ARE – Even if the interviewer is the most beautiful woman or man it is not necessary or wise to tell them that. In fact it’s a quick way to be labeled a creep or a stalker. If you feel like giving a complement do so about their clothing or shoes. If you must please select your language carefully so that you do not come off as creepy. Although it is better to focus on the interview instead of on the interviewer.

Understanding what not to do in a job interview is just as important as knowing what to do. Be prepared and be smart in what you are doing. Be as professional as possible to show the interviewer that you are truly the right candidate for the position.

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Comments 27 comments

goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

You're too funny. I make sure to go to the bathroom before I walk into that grilling room.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

When I was overseeing I had the honors of dealing with everyone of these odditties, including someone who picked their nose and then after the interview wanted to shake my hand, which was absolutely disgusting and was not going to happen. Lol:)


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I have been both the interviewer and the interviewee before and never liked either. But that's just me :D


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

GT - Thank you I am glad that you do go "potty" before you should, everyone should!! If only others would do like you it would save so many problems.

AEvans - Yeah I would have to pass on shaking that man's hand too. That is beyond yuck.

Cris - I have to say I would rather interview than be interviewed but they are not the top of my list of things I want to be doing either.


packerpack profile image

packerpack 7 years ago from India, Calcutta

I know about few people who have asked about what the company does. Their whole interview was good and at the end when he was given an option to ask any question if he has, to that he wanted to know what the company does and this ruined the total effort he had put in the interview. Good that you have mentioned these points. However there is one point I feel that could be added, "One should never say that he/she has nothing to ask if given an option. You should always ask a question if given an option by the interviewer"


ocbill profile image

ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

Hey, these are good. just golden..I thought it would get boring after peole coming to interviews drunk or high but the "I can take your job" or "you're hot" is just idiotic....Great stuff.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Packer - That is a great point, you should always have at least one question for your interview. You can even ask a question that you already know the answer to. Thanks.

Ocbill - Thank you! People say some pretty interesting things in interviews and I never know if it is out of nervousness or just because that is the type of person they are. Crazy stuff.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

People used to tell me not to smile so much as a kid, and this made me smile more.  Actually people I meet at work and outside of work compliment me on how nice it is to see a smiley face.  It is a trick I learned fomr my mom, when you feel down start smiling and thinking of positive things and eventually you will get on a happier current.  Smiling is great for your health and no one can smile too much.  Also, I would try not to judge people on facial motions they make because maybe they have certain health conditions that make them make faces.  It is best to rate a person on their positive attitude, expertise, and work ethic. 


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

SweetiePie - I am a smiler too. Its just natural for me even when I am not happy. I agree you can never over smile. I agree to a certain extent that you should not judge people solely on looks due to possible health conditions. However I am speaking of those who express themselves facially. You have to be careful about what your facial expression says to the interviewer. In the same vein I have seen some interviewers whose facial expressions have given away what they felt about the interviewee. Thanks for your comments.


Gin Delloway profile image

Gin Delloway 7 years ago

Thank you for your hub! It's a really useful one! I will use it!


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Gin - Thanks for comments, I am glad it helps.


Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

This is really funny, TripletMom! Can you imagine??


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you Laughing Mom....some of it I have witnessed and still find it hard to believe. lol


Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

You're kidding! I bet they didn't get the job!


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

You would be right about that!


Amy G 7 years ago

Funny hub! I could imagine people doing those things during their interview!


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Amy - Thank you. This is why I am so into sociology because people never cease to amaze me especially with the things they do.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

Triplet Mom you are assuming I want to work ! I have always prided myself on my short attention span and have been quick to point It out to prospective employers . I have been at my current job for 12 years and they seem to be keeping me In spite of the economy , I thought by this point my personality would have had my ass kicked out the door by now !


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Tony - Well I am not assuming that you "want" to work, since most people don't want to but "have" to. So does your job require that you have a short attention span? I think its kind of funny that you do and have been at your job for so long. You must be a great asset to the company.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

Very amusing, and more so because people actually do these things! I used to use a technique while interviewing where I would give a situation and ask people for a story from their lives that relate to the situation. (for example, "someone asked you to do something you knew was wrong, what did you do?") One gentleman actually told me a story about how he stole from his company even though he knew it was wrong. Guess who didn't get a job?


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

K - Ok that is hilarious and takes the cake. I bet he was sitting at home wondering why he didn't get it too. lol


Clara Ghomes profile image

Clara Ghomes 7 years ago

Good hub! You are right on those. They are a useful tips.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Clara - Thank you very much!


Haute Coco profile image

Haute Coco 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

OMG! these are good ones..

You should add Don't be too cheerful. I had an interview once where the manager was having a bad day. i dont think he appreciated my cheerful mood and the interview went sour.. :( lets just say i didnt want to work with the company after that...


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you Haute. I would say that would be on the manager not on you. I think being cheerful is good but doing anything overboard is a no no.


Delaney Boling profile image

Delaney Boling 7 years ago

Informative with just the right flavor of comedy. Good job Triplet Mom!

- If you ever decide to edit this hub, PLEEEEAAASSSE add the clip of John C. Riley farting in his interview with Seth Rogan from the movie "Step-Brothers!" -


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you Delaney! I might just have to add that clip great idea.

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