10 Ways to Ruin a Job Interview


Don't Know the Company

Do your homework before going on an interview. Educate yourself about the company and prepare questions and answers based on what that company or organization does. Never ask, "What does your company do?"

Try to use appropriate terminology in the interview. That will make you stand out from the rest. Also, asking questions of an interviewer shows that you are engaged and interested in the position. Never ask questions that are clearly answered on the company's Web site. This just says that you didn't prepare for the interview. Some of these questions might be answered during the interview [source: Virginia Tech].

Of course, it should go without saying that you should never, ever ask inappropriate questions during your interview, but then I got this gem in an e-mail from my editor. "I had a guy ask me how many 'hot chicks' worked at the company." Really?

Author's Note: 10 Ways to Ruin a Job Interview

I have been on both sides of the job interview throughout my career. Some interviews have been painful and disastrous. Others have turned out great. The key is to learn from both experiences.

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More Great Links


  • Adamchik, Wally. "It's Ok to be Quiet in an Interview." Military.com. Sept. 14, 2007. (Feb. 18, 2012). http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,149321,00.html
  • AOL.com. "How to Handle Being Late for a Job Interview." (Feb. 16, 2012. http://www.aol.com/video/how-to-handle-being-late-for-a-job-interview/155909819/
  • Balderrama, Anthony. "How to ask touchy interview questions." MSN.com. (Feb. 18, 2012). http://msn.careerbuilder.com/Article/MSN-2662-Interviewing-How-to-ask-touchy-interview-questions/
  • Best Interview Strategies. "During Job Interviews You'll Need These Strategies." (Feb 18, 2012). http://www.best-interview-strategies.com/during-job-interviews.html
  • Career Builder. "The Interview: Body Language Do's and Don'ts." (Feb. 17, 2012). http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-746-Getting-Hired-The-Interview-Body-Language-Dos-and-Donts/
  • Daily Mail. "How a little too much cleavage can cost you a job interview." Sept. 1, 2010. (Feb. 18, 2012). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1307319/How-little-cleavage-cost-job-interview.html
  • ESPN.com. "Yale coach Tom Williams resigns." Dec. 21, 2011. (Feb. 17, 2012). http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7375538/yale-bulldogs-coach-tom-williams-resigns-due-rhodes-scholarship-fib
  • Goulet, Tag and Catherine. "What Not to Say in a Job Interview." (Feb. 18, 2012). http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-744-Getting-Hired-What-Not-to-Say-in-a-Job-Interview/
  • Green, Alison. "10 Ways to Ruin a Job Interview." U.S. News and World Report. Feb. 8, 2012. (Feb. 16, 2012). http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/02/08/10-ways-to-ruin-a-job-interview
  • Job Interview 101. "Cell Phone Usage During a Job Interview." (Feb. 18, 2012). http://www.jobinterview101.com/cell-phones.php
  • Kilgannon, Corey. "When Tattoos Hurt Job Prospects." The New York Times. April 1, 2009. (Feb. 18, 2012). http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/when-tattoos-hurt-job-prospects/
  • U.S. News and World Report. "9 Ways to Ruin a Job Interview." Dec. 22, 2008. (Feb. 17, 2012). http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2008/12/22/9-ways-to-ruin-a-job-interview
  • Virginia Tech. "Questions to ask employers during interviews." (Feb. 18, 2012). http://www.career.vt.edu/interviewing/askquestions.html
  • Zupek, Rachel. "Should you ever lie in a job interview?" July 27, 2009. (Feb. 16, 2012). http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/worklife/07/27/cb.lie.in.job.interview/index.html


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