There are many things you can say and do that can knock you out of consideration for a job offer. Do any of the following and you may be politely shown the door with this unenthusiastic closing: “Thanks for coming. We’ll call you if we have any further questions.”
  1. Present a poor personal appearance, including clothing and grooming.
  2. Project an overbearing, overly aggressive, “know-it-all” posture.
  3. Express incomplete thoughts.
  4. Speak poorly – problems with voice, diction, and grammar.
  5. Lack career planning – no objective apparent.
  6. Act passive or indifferent – no clear purpose or goal.
  7. Lack confidence – too nervous and ill at ease.
  8. Make excuses, appear evasive, and hedge when asked sensitive questions about background.
  9. Speak ill of previous employers.
  10. Maintain poor eye contact.
  11. Offer a limp handshake.
  12. Express no interest in company, doing no research on the company or industry.
  13. Arrive late for the interview.
  14. Ask about salary and benefits too soon and too often.
  15. Lack courtesy and is ill-mannered.
  16. Project a cynical attitude.
  17. Try to be humorous with inappropriate jokes and irritating laughter.
  18. Drop names and emphasize “who I know.”
  19. Express intolerance and strong prejudices.
  20. Smoke or chew gum.
  21. Complain.
  22. Fail to express appreciation for the interviewer’s time.
  23. Talk about personal problems and financial needs.
  24. End with an inappropriate and presumptuous closing, such as “When can I start?”
  25. Wear heavy perfume, cologne, or shaving lotion.
  26. Appear very self-centered by asking questions relevant to his or her needs rather than to the employer’s needs.
  27. Offer very short answers to questions – appear to lack substance, interest, and enthusiasm.
  28. Do not ask questions about the job or employer.

SOURCE: Adapted from Bernard Haldane Associates, Haldane’s Best Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Manassas Park, VA: Impact Publications, 2000), pp. 88-89. All rights reserved.