we have frequently witnessed a lot of candidates complaining on ‘mishandling’ their job interviews. Here is a list of 20 classic ‘absolute No-No’s to avoid doing in / during an interview please.

Interview ‘No-No’s

  1. Don’t be late. If you are, call them asap to let them know that you are running late. Ideally you should be announcing your presence to their receptionist, 20 minutes before the interview starts.
  2. Don’t be rude -at anytime- with the interviewer or any other future colleagues /managers
  3. Don’t dress inappropriately; no jeans or sport clothes. Make sure also that your clothes are clean; we all eat, but there is no reason for a fresh stain of pepper sauce or pizza to indicate to the interviewer what was your last meal.
  4. Don’t ‘kill’ the first impression – make sure your appearance is perfect; ladies please lighten up on make-up & jewellery, gentlemen a clean shave is in order please. Fresh breath never hurt anyone, nor did any other rule of personal hygiene!
  5. Don’t stay up late the night before or go to the interview with ‘bags’ under you eyes.
  6. Don’t avoid a wholehearted warm handshake. It reflects your appreciation for been there and also shows your level of self- confidence.
  7. Don’t appear as if you got no Life / no Fire / no Energy inside you or as if you are about to exhale your last breath on Earth. Show Life and your Interest in the role and the company.
  8. Don’t start the conversation with how much salary you want. Ideally this should be avoided in a 1st interview and if and only if asked, then provide a tactful response. If you are sent there by a recruiter, we (HIREghana) suggest that you do use the Recruiting Agency to handle all salary negotiations so bitter feelings and impressions -like the employer pays too little or the candidate asks to much- can be avoided.
  9. Don’t …”I” the interviewer(s). Sure, the interview is about you and your experience, but use also ‘we’ examples, so that you could show that you are a team player (see also my article on: https://www.modernghana.com/lifestyle/9020/been-an-effective-team-player-how-to-tips.html )
  10. Don’t respond to questions about your experience without ‘STAR’ing them. Please refer to HIREghana‘s previous article: https://www.modernghana.com/lifestyle/9032/how-to-star-your-interviews.html
  11. Don’t (even think to) show up unprepared! I held an interview past Thursday and the interviewee was asking me for what role she was there because she has forgot what she applied for (yes, you have the formal skills, but we can’t proceed with you -sorry). Study the role over and over again. But, also google anything and everything you can find about the company. Obviously start by visiting their webpages and possibly their corporate Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter accounts. Part of been prepared, is also having high- quality printouts of your CV with you.
  12. Don’t go to the inerview with NO questions for them. Have at least 10 good and well-thought questions to ask the interviewer(s), so you can use at least 3-5 of those, depending on the context and flow of the conversation. That ALWAYS sets you apart as a candidate.
  13. Don’t be Informal or Familiar; surely you should be very open, friendly and approachable but avoid informal responses or bringing up inappropriate topics.
  14. Avoid political & religious viewpoints, unless these are relevant and add value to the discussion.
  15. Don’t be negative about any of your previous employers or your current one. We all come to a stage where we outgrow the challenge of a given role or set of task; but if you lack a career plan, don’t blame that on any employer
  16. Don’t tell any lie – that simple. Be open and answer all questions honestly. Avoid fabricating answers.
  17. Don’t WhatsApp during the interview. Turn off your mobile, unless one of your blood relatives is in the hospital (but then, shouldn’t you be in the hospital with them too?)
  18. Don’t use company-specific lingo or ‘technobubble’. Just talk like a human and don’t expect that an abbreviation like PGMT (standing for example for PanGhanaian Management Team) used in your company, it is clear to everyone else… use normal words. Also if you are in IT or Telecoms, avoid all that techno- jargon. English will do just fine please.
  19. Don’t be too nervous, too confident, too modest or too obnoxious!
  20. Don’t talk too much – just give brief but clear and ‘to- the- point’ answers and give the interviewer the opportunity to talk and ask questions. Make sure you really ‘hear’ what s/he says and asks and not what you think s/he says or asks. May I also please suggest that you do look at this article about building ‘rapport’ with the interviewer – https://www.modernghana.com/lifestyle/8816/how-to-get-a-job-with-nlp.html

Good Luck, please.
Thank you,