15 managers reveal the interview red flags that keep them from hiring someone

If you've ever left a job interview thinking you nailed it and then never gotten a call back, you might have made some of these mistakes without even realizing.

By Katie Warren, INSIDER

You probably know the basics of a job interview: be on time, dress appropriately, ask good questions and so on.

But there are many things you might not even realize you're doing that can seriously hurt your chances of getting the job.

In response to the question, "Employers of Reddit, what mistakes do people make during interviews without knowing?" hundreds of employers and hiring managers chimed in on Reddit to reveal the worst mistakes they've seen people make in job interviews, from constantly interrupting the interviewer to talking about a breakup.

1. Showing up too early

"Basically aim to get there 30 minutes before the interview. This is your buffer, then once you've seen you are in the right place, get a coffee and chill for 20 minutes. Walk in 10 minutes before the interview." - One_Day_I_Will_Stop

2. Not being yourself

"Don't try to be who you think they want you to be. People can tell when someone is putting up a front (besides the whole 'I'm at an interview thing') and that's always a red flag." - unrequitedlove58

3. Stalling

"So many candidates try to stretch things out thinking if they run out the clock we won't get to the hard stuff. Well you're right, we won't get to the hard stuff. But you have to do the hard stuff to get hired." - severoon

4. Not doing your homework

"Don't show up knowing nothing about the company you are interviewing to work at... Just read the website. And if don't understand what the website is saying, ask during the interview." - PM_me_a_nip

5. Interrupting the interviewer

"Don't talk over the interviewer or try to finish the interviewer's sentences." - clydeownsus

6. Not asking questions

"It's an opportunity for you to find out whether the job is a good match for you, not just an interrogation. Ask what challenges the team face, ask what the departments strategy for the next 12 months is, ask what an average day will look like etc. You'll appear more interested, you'll find out more, and it also helps to turn a formal interview into more of an informal chat which helps with nerves." - dancingcroc

7. Lying about what you know

"Trying to bluff a question when they clearly have no experience of that area. Much better to be honest and say that's not an area they have experience of, but it's something they're interested in learning more about and see it as a great development opportunity. If possible talk about something similar to show that you will be able to pick it up easily. Obviously depends on the job, but personally I'm looking for someone with the right mindset rather than someone who knows everything." - dancingcroc

8. Bad-mouthing your last job

"Complaining about their previous job. You definitely don't want to come across as someone who complains a lot. Everyone moans about their job sometimes. It's normal. But it's not a good look during an interview. Employers don't want to hire people who are too negative or complain too much." - marabou22

9. Behaving like a 'rockstar' instead of a team player

"Especially in STEM, new grads in particular seem to think that having a rockstar attitude gets you points. It really, really does not. Ultimately, while your ambition, accomplishments, and intelligence are all assets... we're hiring you to be part of a team. If you can't play nicely with others and are going to be the problem child of the office, then you're useless no matter how smart you are. So when you're asked about your contributions to group-based projects, bragging about how you always do all the work and everybody you've ever worked with is an idiot is not going to impress anybody." - _MaddAddam

10. Acting like you're too good for the job

"Don't treat the interview like it's a waste of your time, even if you are overqualified. There's a reason you're looking for work and maybe it's your attitude." - captainspacemuff

11. Smothering yourself in perfume or cologne

"For the love of all that is holy, don't douse yourself in cologne or perfume. When in doubt, use less. If still in doubt, don't use it at all." - lorum_ipsum_dolor

12. Answering the question you want to be asked instead of the actual question

"Answer the question that the interviewer is asking - it sounds simple, but many candidates will instead answer the question they want to be asked. This leads to babbling about irrelevant detail which the candidate is very keen to put across without linking it back to what was being asked originally." - scrubalub84

13. Getting too personal

"If you willingly say you are going through a divorce or break up or whatever s****y situation, they don't need to know, and you don't need to divulge that info. It's illegal for them to ask you about it, but if you give it up, they will 100% use it against you." - knivesout0

14. Controlling the interview

"Guy we interviewed for a director level role at our company spent his entire hour interview asking questions and immediately followed up with other questions so that it was impossible to actually get him to talk about himself without being rude. He completely controlled the conversation... Don't control the interview, use quick descriptive examples to answer questions, and don't let on like you're above the process." - macca3678

15. Asking how it went

"One thing that personally is uncomfortable and awkward is when they ask 'So how did I do?' I never know what to say to that. It's basically like asking 'Did I get the job?' I usually just say something like 'well, we need to review the answers...' or something like that. It's usually people who didn't do very well who ask." - beatscribe


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Career Magazine: 15 managers reveal the interview red flags that keep them from hiring someone
15 managers reveal the interview red flags that keep them from hiring someone
If you've ever left a job interview thinking you nailed it and then never gotten a call back, you might have made some of these mistakes without even realizing.
Career Magazine
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