5 Ways You Can Ruin an Interview Before it Even Starts

There’s a lot of pressure resting on your shoulders during an interview for a job you really want. But, if you take a deep breath and prepare appropriately, you’ll be fine. However, if you do one of these 5 things before your interview starts, you may ruin your chances at securing the position before you’ve opened your mouth.

1. You Don’t Do Your Research: From details about the company and the kinds of projects you’ll be working on to a general understanding of who you’re interviewing with, you can learn a lot by doing a little bit if research before your interview begins. If you don’t do this research, you may seem uninformed or uninterested in the position once your interview begins, which is a major red flag for hiring managers.

2. Showing Up Late: While you don’t want to show up an hour or even 30 minutes early for your interview, you definitely don’t want to arrive late. Arriving late, or even exactly on time, may ruin your interview before it begins. The ideal time to arrive is 10-15 minutes prior to the time the interview is scheduled.

3. You Appear Unprofessional or Ill-Fitting for the Company’s Culture: If you show up looking disheveled or like you didn’t care about what you threw on this morning, you can definitely ruin your chances at a successful interview. But, if you appear unprofessional or ill-fitting for the company’s culture—like wearing a suit to a start up or wearing jeans to a bank interview—you’re just as likely to ruin your chances at securing the job.

4. Careless Social Media Posts: Yes, hiring managers may look at your social media profiles right before or right after your interview. And if you’ve posted anything inflammatory, derogatory about your current company, or derogatory about their organization they won’t even consider you for the position, no matter how well you win them over during the actual interview.

5. Bad Body Language Cues: Before they ask the first question and possibly before you’ve even stepped into the room where your interview is conducted, a first impression will be formed. If your body language cues are bad—think crossed arms, eye rolls, limp or sweaty handshake, etc.—it could ruin your chances at a successful interview before you’ve even begun. Stay aware of your body language and give off cues that make you appear open, positive, intelligent, and interested in the position.

Don’t ruin your chances at securing a job you really want before your interview even starts! Avoid these 5 things like the plague and prepare appropriately so you can confidently tackle the interview process and land your dream job.