The 7 Deadly Job Interview Sins

October 28th, 2013 | Articles, Interviewing | No Comments »

7 deadly sins
Job interviews can be hell, but you don’t have to be Dante to navigate them safely. If you have an interview coming up and want to come off as an angel sent solely to fill this position, make sure that you don’t commit any of the 7 deadly job interview sins.


Do you really want this job more than anything in the world? While your determination is admirable, don’t allow those feeling to cross over into flat out desperation. Venting your stress with the job search and attempting to tug on the heart strings of the hiring manager will ruin your chances at the job. Instead of feeling pity, the hiring manager is going to see a weak person who isn’t fit for the job.

And making a romantic pass at the hiring manager will make sure you land on an interview blacklist, if not a sex offender registry.


While I wouldn’t recommend stuffing your face with snacks during a job interview, you should also avoid stuffing your answers full of useless information as well. One of the most common mistakes you can make during the interview is talking yourself into a hole, particularly when your response to a question is met with silence. Keep your answers short and to the point. Adding bits of information that just aren’t relevant will make the hiring manager lose interest in what you have to say pretty quickly.


We all want to say it’s not about the money, but at the end of the day that is precisely what a job is for. Furthermore, you should be paid what you are worth to the company. But job interviews are not the time and place to talk about salary, benefits, etc. Negotiating for more money before you have even been offered the job will send your chances straight to the underworld.


Laziness will get you nowhere in life, least of all in your job search efforts. The most important thing you can do before going to a job interview is research the company beforehand. Walking into the interview blind is like sticking your arm in a hole without shining a light into it first. The job interview is not the place to find out just what the company does. You should have at least a rudimentary understanding of the company, its goals, and how you can help them get there.

The questions you pose during the interview should help you gain insight to things that were not available on the website. Asking “what does your company do” is a surefire way to have your chances trashed the second you walk out of the interview.


If your boss was an uptight control freak who treated you like an indentured servant, your next interview is not the time to vent about it. The hiring manager, and the company overall, is not going to want to invest in a person who is just going to bad mouth them when it comes time for you to part ways. Nor do they want to incorporate someone who clearly holds grudges into their team oriented environment. Save your wrath for the next time you go out for a drink with friends.


Where do you see yourself in five years? It is a question that most hiring managers will ask at some point during the interview, and you will probably be inclined to think that it’s his or her job you want. That’s fine, so long as those envious thoughts never manifest themselves into words. Of course you want to move up within the company and eventually take over for or surpass your boss, but telling them that before you even have the job is a grave mistake. No manager wants to bring someone on board who is bent on usurping them

If asked, you always want to express an interest in management while stressing your loyalty to the company. You also want to demonstrate how well you can take a leadership position while working well with team members. This will serve you far better than insinuating that you are out to commandeer the entire department.


Do you have a 4.0 GPA from an Ivy League school? Did you have a hard time whittling down your immense qualifications to a two-page resume? Congratulations if you did, but don’t let your pride cloud your judgment during the interview. While you want to show how your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job, there is a huge wall separating the realms of confidence and arrogance. In order to avoid coming off as a pompous person who will poison an otherwise healthy team environment, make sure you stay on the right side of that wall.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of RocPX via Flickr