Biggest interview turn offs

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

We’re so used to seeing what we should be doing during interviews that we almost forget the things that we shouldn’t be doing, well some of us anyway. Sadly, as recruiters, we often see fully prepped candidates fall into one of the following categories...

The ‘I didn’t prepare an outfit for this interview’ candidate

Whether it be turning up with UGG boots, an un-ironed shirt or a skirt that shows the interviewer the candidate’s choice of underwear. First impressions are so important. We know that it takes just seven seconds for someone to make their mind up on you. How you present yourself is sure to leave a lasting impression, in these cases, the wrong one!

The ‘I didn’t have time for a shower’ candidate

Hopes are high, they look smart, they are smiling and carrying a notepad as they walk through the door. Great start. However, the smell that follows them starts to decay the newly whitewashed walls and the stench from their breath would suggest they used cow manure as toothpaste. Or, they have so much Channel no.5 on that it’s sent the whole office into a sneezing fit. Presentation goes deeper than just the way you look. If you turn up without showering, then the chances are that you’ll probably be the person in the office that heats up smoked haddock in the office microwave at lunch.

The ‘I prepared for the wrong interview' candidate

At first, they seem like a good candidate until they name drop that they cannot wait to work for “Insert competitor here” or talk about a completely different role advertised. It’s good that they did their homework, just a shame it was for the interview they have the following Tuesday down the road. As a candidate it is essential to know what job you’re applying for, even if you just make a few bullet points for the role and the company that can help to guide you through the interview

The ‘turned up half an hour late because I didn’t plan my journey' candidate

The candidate who turns up to the interview late and distressed because they didn’t realise there would be traffic on the M25 at 9am on a Monday morning but have time management skills listed as one of their strengths on their CV. It is key to turn up to your interview on time, we advise that you plan your route and where the nearest parking is to your interview, do your homework it’ll pay off!

The ‘I’m not sure why I applied for my job' candidate

The candidate whose reasoning for applying for the job was “I don’t know I kind of fancied a change and applied for a few things” or “I like looking at houses so thought I’d apply to be an estate agent” doesn’t exactly scream passionate estate agent to me. Learn your facts, this is your opportunity to sell yourself and show how you will perform in the role you’re going for, as I said before doing your homework it’ll pay off! So many skills are transferable, and your interviewer will recognise this so really sell your best features!

The ‘question avoider' candidate

You ask them a simple question, “how have you gone out your way for a customer before?” expecting a simple, and to the point answer. However, instead you get a long-winded tale of how they hiked up a Cambodian mountain naked at half three in the morning to rescue someone and this shows that they are customer focused. Alternatively, you get the candidate who doesn’t look you in the eye and when they do finally make eye contact, they squirm and melt into their chair. It is so important to be confident in your interview, look them in the eye and seem genuine it really makes you seem like such a better candidate. Remember you’re going to be dealing with new people all day every day in your role, you need to show that you can gel and build rapport with new people you have just met.

The ‘know-it-all' candidate

Within five minutes of entering the building, this candidate has already told you, an estate agency director with 35 years’ experience in the industry that “you’re going about it all wrong” and criticizes your whole business model before even getting halfway through the interview. As they have attacked your integrity, you then challenge their views and suddenly they turn defensive and the interview turns sour. Everyone likes new people with new ideas, but they come with time, when you’re giving a first impression it is key not to come off like this as it can come off as insulting to a person whose put their blood and sweat into the business you are so quick to criticise. it’s not about what you say but how you say it and with time can definitely become grounds for a really interesting and productive conversation.

We know interviews can be difficult and the more you do, the better you get. The main things to remember are; do your homework, turn up on time, look your best, listen, make eye contact, smile and be yourself then you will be fine. Preparation is the most important thing you can do, and if it does go belly up then it’s not the end of the world!

If you’re unsure just ask us for advice, it’s our job and we want you to do well! Just keep your cool head on and don't forget to brush your teeth...

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