5 Ways to Lose a Job During the Interview

You’ve graduated (congratulations!). Now what? Well, it’s time to enter the real world and get that job you’ve had your sights on for awhile now. In order to get it, you need to get through the interview process.

Keep in mind that a prospective employer may ask you back for multiple interviews before giving you the job…or breaking your heart. Typically the higher paying jobs (sans anything illegal, of course) are the ones that string you along for awhile.

It’s a game, but unfortunately you have to play it. So, you may as well play it fully equipped.

Our blog posts usually discuss what we think you should be doing, but this one’s a little different. Instead, we’re going to talk about what you shouldn’t do during the interview process. Here are 5 sure-fire ways to lose a job before you get hired:

1. Blow Off the Phone Interview

In some cases, employers use a telephone interview as part of their screening system. Essentially, if your resume makes it past the “first” round, someone will want to interview you on the phone.

If you still have even a smidgen of interest in the job, take this phone call very seriously. It will determine whether you get a face to face; the real first interview. Schedule a time when you will be alone and have plenty of time and attention to give to the hiring manager.

As much as this interview is about letting the employer learn more about you, it is also about learning more about them. Take some time and learn about the company; ask questions that were not answered through your research. This shows that you’ve done your homework and you’re serious about the job.

2.Discuss Other Jobs

As much as you might want to be forthright about other opportunities, don’t. This seems intuitive enough, but some people have this need to let the interviewer know that they may be taking another job if the offer comes in.

There’s no reason to do this, and there’s no reason to discuss how many other jobs you’re interviewing for. Keep the interview about the job in question, and nothing else.

The only reason you should ever bring up another position is if you actually get an offer and want the other prospect to give you a counter offer. In this case, there’s no better time to leverage your worth.

3. Provide Too Much Information

You’d be surprised how many job seekers go into an interview in hopes of a sympathy party. So what if you haven’t been able to land a job yet and have been looking for almost a year? You’re not the only one, remember that.

Yes, while it is sad and unfortunate, the last thing you want to be perceived as is a weak individual. Remember that this is your first real impression. Keep your baggage at home. If you don’t, it’ll raise red flags for your prospective employer as well as alienate potential colleagues. Keep it positive, cheerful, and above all else, professional.

4. Talk Poorly About Former Jobs

Yes, obvious, but it’s happened so it made it to the top 5. Keep the trash talk for your friends, family, dog, gerbil, or random passersby if you feel the need. But DO NOT under any circumstance say anything negative about old jobs, employers, etc. Why?

Because the employer will be concerned that if things don’t work out for you at that position, you’ll be doing the same thing in the next job interview. State the minimum without stating too much.

Give a brief and concise reason for leaving your last job, and no matter how awful it was, veer away from the negative. Remember all that baggage? Keep it at home.

5. Be Arrogant

There’s confidence (turn on), and there’s arrogance (turn off), and there’s a very fine line between the two. A gamut of behavior falls within the arrogance category. Avoid all of them.

a. For instance, maintain eye contact as much as possible. Sometimes looking past someone means that there’s something more important attracting your attention.

b. Don’t name drop out of context. If you feel the need to mention someone’s name, devise a plan that will make it seem as natural as possible.

c. Do not interrupt the conversation. Let the interviewer speak, and you can speak in turn. It is very annoying when someone is constantly cutting you off because they think they have something more important to say.

d. Don’t blame others for anything. If you have to discuss a potentially negative event, take responsibility and be a man (or woman).

There are more interview “don’ts”, of course, but these made our top five. Do you have any you’d like to share? Please do so on our Facebook page!


  1. […] discussed what we think you should avoid in an interview, so now we will talk about what you should do. These tips will help you pass the interview with […]