Want to get yourself knocked out of an interview process as soon as possible? Of course not! Learn from what the classic “bad candidate” does and stay far away!
Profile of the “Bad Candidate”
Don’t want to be a bad candidate? We don’t want you to be either- we want you to get the job! Here we gather the most common themes that run rampant among “bad” candidates; a helpful list of what to avoid doing.
Talk over the interviewer. This happens much more often than you think. I address this in an article about “Phone Interview Tips” but the message is the same; do not talk over the interviewer. If you’re speaking over the interviewer, it not only shows them that you only care about what you want to say, but that you lack in communication skills. If you catch yourself doing this, address it and apologize- and then let them talk.
Late/misses the interview/ no show. All of these point to one thing; the interview just isn’t that important. It’s not important enough to make sure you show up on time, and it’s not important how that comes off to the interviewers. No showing and even just being late illustrates that the interviewer’s time isn’t that important, either. If you miss an interview, you may get a second chance, but you also may not. Don’t depend on a second chance- even if you do get one, your lack of punctuality and respect for the interviewer’s time could follow you like a dark cloud throughout the process. No one wants their time wasted; so don’t be a time waster.
Not available to interview/ hard to get a hold of. I’ve had candidates tell me that the only time they can interview is before 9am and after 5pm; I respectfully tell them to call me back when they can make time to interview. The reality of interviewing is that you will have to make time to do it- and hiring managers interview during normal business hours. If you cannot make time to interview during normal business hours, or aren’t willing to take some time from your current position to interview, you do not belong in the job market. Also, if you are difficult to get a hold of, or don’t return calls until you’re good and ready, all you’re doing is making yourself undesirable to work with and chipping away at your own credibility.
No questions about the job. If someone doesn’t have any questions during an interview, it can be a red flag for the interviewer and can come off like you’re just not that interested. Have at least 5 written down, and prioritize the questions that are most important, just in case you run out of time.
Lies on Resume. If you can’t speak to things you wrote on your own resume, it’s a waste of everyone’s time. If you got the interview because of a dishonest resume, your proud moment will quickly deflate once the interviewers realize you’re full of it.
Trash previous employer. This only makes you sound like you may actually be the one with the behavioral problem, not your “terrible” manager. Being bitter and talking trash on your employer won’t get you ahead- instead it’ll give the interviewers a huge red flag.
Doesn’t “know” compensation target. Yes you do. We know you do; it’s literally the only reason you’re interviewing for paid work. Be prepared to talk about money- and if you aren’t prepared to talk compensation, you don’t belong in the job market. See here for more tips on navigating the compensation conversation.