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The 11 things you should never say or do in a job interview

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Dave Fawbert
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No one likes job interviews.

You’re literally being judged, you have to try and guess what they want you to say, and work out just how much exaggerating you can get away with before you will definitely be exposed for the fraud you are.

But they’re a necessary evil and, while there are no shortage of tips on how to impress and what to say, often it’s worth starting with the basics: those absolute no-nos that you absolutely, must, positively avoid.

Business Insider have collated 11 pieces of advice and, frankly, they’re all worth following.

Some of them might seem obvious – but never underestimate how what seems obvious to you might not be to others.

Read these, then read them again, then do as they say.

Don’t complain about being kept waiting

Yes it might be rude of them, but there’s absolutely no need for you to mention that. They don’t need to impress you, you need to impress them. Plus they may have a good reason for it.

Don’t be late yourself

If you’re late to your interview, they’re hardly going to trust you to be on time if you’re given the job. Plus, you’re wasting their time. Leave plenty of wiggle room.

Don’t ask the interviewer personal questions

There is little to be gained and a lot to lose; it’s not worth it, even if you’re just trying to make small talk.

Don’t enquire about your potential coworkers

Asking about office politics, or people to avoid in the company is a surefire sign that you could be a gossip who might upset the happy balance of the office.

Don’t use swear words

We’ve all decided that swearing is fine now but in an office environment, it can still be perceived as unprofessional. Don’t risk it.

Don’t use your phone

It might now be a common thing to switch off in the middle of a conversation and check your Twitter feed, but in the middle of an interview it suggests you’re more interested in what’s on your phone than the job you’ve applied for. Not a good look.

Don’t look too needy

You might be desperate to get this job, but you don’t want your interviewer to know that – you want them to think you’re confident in your abilities.

Don’t leave early

Might sound obvious, but if things drag on – you need to stick it out.

Don’t criticise the company’s assets

Have some strong opinions on the quality of their office interior design? Keep them to yourself.

Don’t use slang or casual language

Dude/honey/girls/ladies/man/guys – don’t use them, it looks unprofessional.

Don’t criticise the company’s culture

Don’t try to come across like you know better than your interviewer – don’t directly criticise the way they do things; you can offer suggestions once you’re safely inside the building.

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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