What Not to Do During An Interview

3 Apr

Going to an interview is nerve-wracking. At least, for me. It takes me about a day to prep for an interview, including customising a presentation and my portfolio, depending on the position I am being interviewed for.

I also spend some time researching about the company, not only about what it does, but also about updates and important milestones. Aside from checking its website, there’s a wide range of information available by simply checking its recent press releases, news articles written about it, and its social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn).

I remember one time when I was a bit younger and was interviewed for a job. Because I was busy prepping up my CV, I completely forgot about the “getting to know the company” part. Interview day came and the interviewer asked me:

Int: Can you tell me more about our company?

Me: You are one of the world’s premier advertising agencies handling campaigns for some recognised brands and companies.

Int: Okay. What clients are we handling right now?

Me: (Pausing for a few seconds, trying to recall whether they’re the ones handling Honda or was that the other agency I just read about?) Honda. (Sounding unsure. Obviously unsure. Heart thumping loudly.)

Int: Well, we don’t handle Nokia.  (Dang! Earth, swallow me now, please. Please!)

He further added: And if you only spent some time learning more about us via our website, you would have known that… (and he started enumerating the brands that they handle).

I was supposed to take note of the brands he was saying but I couldn’t hear him. His voice drowned in the strong beating of my heart, like it was ready to jump out of my chest.

After what seemed like an eternity of shame, I apologised for wasting the interviewer’s time. I wanted to kick myself right then and there for showing up unprepared and downright unprofessional. I felt like a mess. And his intimidating attitude didn’t help either.

I left and saw him rolled his eyes at me. (Who wouldn’t?) My feet and heart were so heavy that time I had to drag myself to the nearest taxi stand just to get home.

From then on, I would make it a point to learn more about the company before showing up. I would even spend a few more seconds looking them up on the net while waiting at the reception.

Lesson # 1: Don’t show up unprepared. Familiarise yourself about the company.

Moving on, came across some “real-life bizarre interview encounters” released by Singapore Business Review recently, based on a study conducted by JobsCentral. If you are looking for a job, these are the things you must not do (these actually happened in real life!):

1. Doodle on your resume while talking.
2. Bring all your trophies while you were still in school.
3. Show up in a hat and Hawaiian shirt. (Seriously?)
4. Answer your phone in mid-interview and teach your mom how to cook a dish.
5. Stalk a female interviewer at the staff entrance.
6. Keep sucking on your thumb before speaking. (Really?)
7. Keep looking at your interviewer with your mouth wide open. (Er, excuse me?)
8. Bring your 7-year-old brother whom you are babysitting.
9. Cry when you talk about family problems. (Drama queen, are we?)
10. Lay down your stationeries on the table. (Hmm. That’s technically not your desk yet, my dear.)
11. Insist on speaking with the CEO only. (Wow!)
12. Sing the national anthem and refuse to stop. (And the patriotic award goes to…)
13. Ask your interviewer on a date.
14. Bring your mom to sit in. (Aww. Afraid someone might hurt you?)
15. Whisper to yourself when answering questions.
16. Constantly play with 3cm-fingernail on pinky. (I really don’t get why there’s a need to grow the pinky nail in the first place!)
17. Laugh at every sentence your interviewer says.
18. Refuse to shake hands. (Come on, show some courtesy.)
19. Call the company to say you’re ill when you are already at the reception. (Make up your mind if you are going or not.)
20. Request for a hug. (No way!)
21. Arrive and leave after using the loo. (You know, there times when you should, at least, hold it. This is one of those times!)
22. Keep looking around the room like you’re searching for someone.
23. Sit still during the interview with only eyeball movements. (Relax.)
24. Comb your hair while the interview is ongoing. (Really?)
25. Get overly excited about everything the interviewer says.

Unbelievably true. So yes, these are some of the things to avoid during an interview. These are really extreme for me and I feel bad for the interviewers. I can think of other things to avoid but I believe that would merit another post. Perhaps some other time.

The original post can be accessed here.

Have you encountered any interview booboos before? Care to tell me about them?

Blogging from my side of the globe,


Every Wednesday, I write about interesting things, stories, videos or pictures I find on the web and try to share them here on my blog, under the “WeBnesday”.


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