Job Search Tips
min read

8 things to avoid during an interview

There are lots of things you shouldn't do during a job interview to avoid making the wrong impression. These 8 are probably the most important.
An IT recruiter in front of a laptop during a videocall.
Article author
Written by
Aldona Milej
Published on
October 1, 2021
Last updated on
March 26, 2024

Are you about to head into an interview? If so, congratulations! You are one step closer to landing your dream job. But before you start patting yourself on the back, make sure that you are doing everything right. There are a lot of things you should not do during an interview - and if these mistakes happen, it will decrease your chances of getting hired. We have compiled a list below of 8 things that you should avoid doing during an interview - check them out!

1. Don't be overconfident

Overconfidence is a killer during an interview. You can thank your interviewer without sounding insincere or fake - just make sure to keep things light! While showing confidence is important, you have to balance confidence with humbleness

Some people mistake arrogance with confidence - do not make that mistake! It's important to be confident, but if your interviewer doesn't get a good impression of you from the beginning there is no way they're going to hire you. Arrogance can also backfire on you in an interview because it isn't very professional and might make them think that you wouldn’t fit into the office culture later.

2. Don't give overcomplicated answers

You will have to answer questions, so you have to be prepared! Make sure that the answers you give are honest but also concise. Don't think that just because the recruiter asked a question about something complicated means you need to go into every little detail.

Recruiters will ask you follow-up questions when necessary. You have to focus on the quality of your answer, short but to the point are most often the best. If you have to tell a story to answer the question, focus only on the important points.

3. Don't argue during the interview

You should never argue with the interviewer. If you believe that a question does not apply to your particular situation, ask for clarification. You will have to answer only the questions which are relevant for your application process. If you are in a bad mood before the interview or feel irritated because of something let the interviewer know beforehand to reschedule the interview. It's better to have a fresh start with a positive attitude.

4. Don't forget to ask questions

The job description or company website can give you many answers, but you surely have some other questions. By asking questions you can show how passionate you are about working for the new company and why you want this specific role so much! This is your chance to show them what makes you special – don’t waste it.

We created an article with a list of questions that you can ask: The questions to ask at an interview for a technical position

Write a few of them down so you will remember them during your next interview.

5. Don't answer the phone

This rule is valid for all types of interviews. It can be very distracting and disrespectful if you start talking to someone else or checking your messages during the interview. A good thing to do is to mute your notifications before you start the interview, also leave the phone in your bag or jacket or somewhere else. Don't put it on the table, especially with the screen upwards - it will easily distract you.

If something really important comes up, like a family emergency, let the hiring manager know as soon as possible! All of us have families and we know that unexpected things happen every day.

6. Don't eat

It's not about being nervous because it might happen that you cannot eat or drink from the morning, but chewing food or gum will put you in a bad light. This applies even if you take part in an online interview without the camera, don't think this makes any difference - they might still hear you chewing.

You can eat something before the meeting starts, just remember to not eat too much. Your body will try to process your meal and you won't focus fully on the interview. Eating something an hour or two before the actual meeting is a safer option.

7. Don't come unprepared

From time to time, it happens that people apply for a job they know nothing about and it's okay. Maybe the time for a career change has come, or they want to try their strengths at something different. But there is a difference between that and applying for any role that is open. Don't go to an interview not knowing what it is about.

One of the worst things you can do at a job interview is to be unprepared. Read the job description, read about the company, its origins and services or products, it doesn't take too much time but it's incredibly valuable during the interview.

8. Don't show a lack of accountability

Humans make mistakes, and a recruiter can ask you about a mistake that you've made in your job. But, what if you blame someone else during the interview? It's not like they're going to hire you. You have to show accountability by explaining how you took care of the problem, maybe you fixed it quickly, maybe you asked your manager for help, it's not a shame, it's proof that you are a reliable person.

By admitting to mistakes you can grow, so don't be afraid to show what you did wrong. There is a good chance that mistakes won't happen again. If you don't admit to mistakes, no one will know if you are a trustworthy person.


There are many other things that you shouldn't do during an interview, but we believe these are the most important ones to keep in mind. If you want to be sure that your next interview goes smoothly, focus on avoiding these points.

Remember not to interrupt the interviewer when they are asking questions and always tell the truth!

Good luck!

Table of contents
more articles from

Job Search Tips