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10 Things You Should Never Do In A Job Interview Study for the part, work hard for it, and most importantly, don't over-promise and under-deliver.

By May Rostom Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


The competition for jobs is getting fiercer as the economy takes a dive, and no one wants to be unemployed at times like these. You cross your fingers, pray for the best, and some of you even pick an outfit to wear on their dream job interview, but what most of us always fail to do is prepare themselves properly for the most important conversation in their career. Here are ten things you should never do in an interview, if you really want that job offer to come to you.

1. Don't be dressed inappropriately As logical as it may seem, some people actually don't care about their outfit on the day of an interview. While interview outfit etiquette isn't exactly set in stone, but being overdressed is a lot better than underdressed. A woman dressing inappropriately (with too much skin showing) is a common misinterpretation of being "chic." As for men, it goes without saying, jeans and sneakers are not an option- and neither is a tuxedo.

2. Don't get too friendly Being friendly is nice, but being too familiar can harm you. The person interviewing you will most probably become your boss, not a co-worker, so keep stories about your niece, dog, or wife to yourself.

3. Don't keep your phone on Make sure you switch your cell phone off before you head into that room. You don't want it to interrupt the interview, and you most certainly won't pick up, so to avoid the hassle of going through your purse/pockets when it rings- just switch it off before the interview starts.

4. Don't lie Whether it's on your CV or on the spot, it is unacceptable and unprofessional to twist the truth just to get the job.

5. Don't focus too much on the money You should perhaps be asking more important questions like: "What's the career progression like?" or "Why did the last person leave this position?"

Related: To Win The Jobs Race, Head Out On A Learning Sprint

6. Don't overdo the jokes It's a plus to be funny and have a good rapport, you don't want to be the "clown", though. No jokes!

7. Don't just sit there Ask questions, interact, seem interested. Your employer needs to know that you are seriously considering this position, and not just there to waste time. Looking bored or unengaged during a job interview does not leave a good impression.

8. Don't be late A job interview is the last place you want to be late to. If you do happen to face a problem on your way over or are a bit late, do phone the company and let them know you'll be there shortly.

9. Don't pull a chair until you're told I know it sounds a little classroom-y, but you are not advised to have a seat unless you're offered one. Also, make sure you greet the interviewer with a firm handshake upon arrival and exit.

10. Don't talk about taboo topics Use your common sense- don't bring in topics like religion, politics, etc. into a conversation you're having to secure a job.

It's tough to land a job these days, let alone a good one. So, when you get an interview for a position you actually like, don't take it lightly. Study for the part, work hard for it, and most importantly, don't over-promise and under-deliver. Good luck!

Related: Ace Your Interviews: Four Ways To Be A Better Job Candidate

May Rostom

Curator, Entrepreneur Café

May Rostom is the curator of Entrepreneur Café, a new daily digest of stories from Entrepreneur Middle East to fuel your day at work. 

May has been in the fashion journalism field for more than five years, with over 500 articles published in online and offline mediums. Working closely with some of the biggest fashion brands in the region, from creating, curating, and developing content to aggregating and pitching for content from several fashion and beauty outlets in the Middle East, Rostom’s experience is multicultural and vast. She was formerly a senior lifestyle editor/writer at MSN Arabia, and she has also worked with TRESemme Egypt as a fashion expert.

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