Five Interview Do Nots

Interviewing is a moment in the job search that never fails to be nerve-wracking. You sit in a new place, perhaps wearing an uncomfortable outfit, and do your best to be impressive while also sounding humble. Most of us will sit through many interviews during our career, possibly on either end of the process, but if you’re preparing for an imminent interview, here are some tips on what NOT to do when you walk into the office.

  1. Don’t forget to do your homework. Remember showing up to class and having only done a small portion of the reading? You might not want to admit it, but this probably happened to you at some point. However, interviews are not the place to skimp on the research. Make sure you’ve read up on the company and position before you go into the interview. This will prepare you for the level and nature of questions likely to be asked, and give you fodder to ask questions back. On that note….
  2. Don’t feel like you have to wait to ask questions. The usual format of an interview is for the interviewee to be questioned for the bulk of the period, and then be provided with some time at the end in which they can ask questions. However, this can produce an uncomfortable format of conversation on both sides. If you’re able to integrate questions into the interview proper as topics arise, the interview will begin to feel more like a conversation and have a more relaxed atmosphere for both parties.
  3. Don’t show up late. Interviews are the first impression most potential employers will have of you. So make sure you make it a good one. Show up early with all your materials ready, and be ready to shake hands and smile. Here at Career Solutions Group, we can teach you nonverbal tricks to help your interview progress smoothly.
  4. Don’t ask about vacation hours. Hypothetically, this information should be provided to you in the employee handbook, or you can gently inquire about it after being hired. But asking about vacation time during an interview can come off as rude. Your interviewer might feel that you are less interested in using your skills to help the larger team and more interested in putting forth the minimum effort necessary to get leave time.
  5. Don’t turn down a drink. This is really just practical advice. In most interviews, you’ll be doing a lot of talking, and that will dry out your throat. So if and when your interviewer offers you a beverage, I recommend accepting. Not only is this the natural thing to do, but it will help prevent a scratchy, sore throat later. And also, free drink!

Like anything, interviewing can get better with practice. Consider doing a “mock” interview with a friend or family member, someone you trust who can offer you tips on how to improve. Or, if you’re looking for professional career support, come visit us at Career Solutions Group. Mock interviewing is one of the many services we offer!

Considering making a career transition? Email us at We offer free initial consultations, and can help you make a smooth transition to your next career opportunity.

By: Julia Pillard, Career Solutions Group