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Interview don'ts - avoiding common pitfalls for success

Congratulations! You've secured an interview – a crucial step toward landing that dream job. While preparation is key, it's equally important to be mindful of common pitfalls that can hinder your chances of success. In this guide, we'll outline a list of "don'ts" to ensure you navigate the interview process with finesse.

The 'don'ts' of interviewing ​

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Don't arrive unprepared

Preparation is the backbone of a successful interview. Failing to prepare adequately can leave you stumbling through answers and appearing disinterested. Avoid the following:

  • ​Neglecting research: Don't go into an interview without researching the company, its culture, and the role you're applying for. A lack of knowledge signals a lack of genuine interest.

  • ​Ignoring the job description: Don't overlook the details of the job description. Tailor your responses to match the specific requirements and responsibilities outlined by the employer.

  • ​Underestimating the competition: Don't assume you're the only candidate. Be ready to showcase what sets you apart from others vying for the same position.

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Don't neglect professionalism

First impressions matter, and presenting yourself professionally is crucial during an interview. Avoid behaviours that may undermine your credibility:

  • ​Casual attire: Don't underestimate the importance of dressing professionally. Even if the company has a casual culture, aim for attire that aligns with their expectations.

  • ​Tardiness: Don't arrive late. Punctuality is a reflection of your commitment and respect for the interviewer's time.

  • ​Lack of eye contact: Don't avoid eye contact during the interview. Maintain a confident gaze to convey attentiveness and confidence.

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​Don't forget non-verbal communication

Effective communication extends beyond words. Your non-verbal cues can greatly influence the interviewer's perception of you. Avoid the following pitfalls:

  • ​Weak handshake: Don't offer a limp handshake. Aim for a firm, confident grip to convey professionalism and confidence.

  • ​Excessive fidgeting: Don't let nervous habits take over. Be mindful of excessive fidgeting, as it can be distracting and may imply anxiety.

  • ​Inappropriate facial expressions: Don't forget that your facial expressions are under scrutiny. Maintain a pleasant and engaged demeanour throughout the interview.

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Don't overshare or under-share

Striking the right balance in sharing information about yourself is essential. Avoid extremes that could impact your candidacy:

  • ​Oversharing personal details: Don't divulge too much personal information. Keep the focus on your professional achievements and experiences relevant to the job.

  • ​Providing generic answers: Don't be too vague or generic in your responses. Offer specific examples and anecdotes that showcase your skills and suitability for the role.

  • ​Overemphasising salary: Don't bring up salary and benefits too early in the interview. Let the employer take the lead in discussing compensation.

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Don't underestimate the power of follow-up

Your interactions after the interview play a crucial role in leaving a lasting impression. Don't neglect this final step in the interview process:

  • ​Forgetting a thank-you note: Don't skip sending a thank-you note after the interview. Express gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position.

  • ​Ignoring follow-up emails: Don't neglect to respond promptly to any follow-up emails or requests for additional information. Timeliness reflects your commitment and professionalism.

  • ​Disregarding post-interview reflection: Don't forget to reflect on your performance. Identify areas for improvement and lessons learned to enhance your approach in future interviews.


In the high-stakes game of job interviews, avoiding common pitfalls is as crucial as showcasing your strengths. By steering clear of these interview "don'ts," you'll present yourself as a polished and professional candidate, increasing your chances of making a positive and lasting impression.

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Other helpful resources in your job search:

Or download our Ebook "Interview Preparation: The Ultimate Checklist for Success" below.

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Success in interviews is not just about what you say; it's also about how you present yourself. Stay confident, stay prepared, and show the interviewer why you're the perfect fit for the job. Best of luck in your interviews!

If you're seeking additional guidance and support in navigating the interview process, our team of expert recruiters is here for you. Contact us below to benefit from personalised coaching and assistance tailored to your unique career goals. Don't let interview challenges hold you back – let us help you shine in your professional journey.

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