Preparing for a job interview can be stressful, but it’s the opportunity you need to shine amongst your competition! Remember, what you do leading up to your meeting is just as important as when you’re finally meeting your potential employer face-to-face. To improve your chances of a successful interview, here are some key tips on what not to do before an interview.


1. Waste Your Time Rather Than Preparing

You interview might be a few days or a few weeks away, but that doesn’t mean you should hold off on preparation. Those who land jobs make sure that they’re ready well before they walk into an interview. Use your free time intelligently, printing off your resume and getting to know the company you’re interviewing for. This extra work can be the difference between no job and your dream job.


2. Not Preparing Questions

An interviewer will usually ask if you have any questions for them. It might seem like a simple gesture, but there is a method behind that madness. An employer is interested in learning what kind of research you’ve done beforehand. Having questions about their business and their goals shows that you are passionate about the business and that you want to learn more. Always have questions prepared for when you are given the opportunity.


3. Selecting Unprofessional Shoes and Clothes

Your attire for your interview will tell an employer a lot about you. Even if your resume is impressive, failing to look professional can deter employers from hiring you! Make sure to wear an outfit that is clean, professional, and not distracting. This involves your shoe choice as well. Do not wear anything bright, baggy, or dirty. Make sure you practice general hygiene before your interview as well. 


4. Be Too Preoccupied with What You Are Wearing

You should wear something professional for your interview, but it should also have a level of comfort. Do not wear something that is itchy, or which does not fit you well. If you are preoccupied with your outfit, your interviewer will be, too. This means they’re paying less attention to your creative answers, and more on how itchy your cardigan seems to be!


5. Eat a Huge Meal Before the Interview

There is nothing worse than feeling full or ill during your interview. No matter how much you’ve prepared, it will be difficult to answer questions to your best ability when your stomach is doing backflips. Do not eat a huge meal before your interview; if you can, keep your meal light or go for snacks. You can always treat yourself to a well-deserved meal afterward!


6. Eat Smelly Food

Do not eat foods that have aggressive odors right before your interview. If you do, your interviewer may smell it on your clothes or breath! Strong food smells will be very distracting to your interviewer and make it hard for them to focus on your abilities. Avoid foods such as garlic, onions, coffee, cheese, and alcohol.


7. Drink Too Much Water

Drinking too much water will have you running for the washroom in the middle of your interview! Keep tabs on how much you’ve had through the day, especially if your interview is later in the afternoon. Your best bet is to drink a little less, and bring a water bottle with you to the interview.


8. Drink Alcohol to Calm Your Nerves

Being nervous before an interview is understandable, but you should never drink alcohol to calm your nerves. In the worst-case scenario, your interviewer might smell the alcohol on you, which could severely lower your chances of getting the gig. Drinking alcohol beforehand can also interfere with your ability to be professional and answer questions! If you want present the best version of yourself, stick to coffee or water, instead.


9. Ignore the Urge to Use the Bathroom

Listen to your body in the time leading up to your interview. If you need to use the bathroom, listen to those signs and head to the nearest bathroom! Do not resist the urge to use the bathroom. It can be very hard to focus on the conversation at-hand when you have to go.


10. Arrive Too Early or Too Late

Being early for an interview is great, but being too early can be an inconvenience to your potential employer. Do not arrive too early, and definitely do not arrive too late. Try to find a nice cushion of time; arrive anywhere between 5-10 minutes early and you will be fine. This way you aren’t sitting for too long and stressing, and your interviewer won’t feel rushed. 


11. Stay Up Late Before Your Interview

You will want to be well-rested for your interview, which means getting a good night sleep the night before. Getting enough sleep will help you to have a clear mind and more energy for your big day. Even if you don’t usually go to bed early, try to shut things down a little earlier than normal. A great suggestion is to turn off all technology and read a book before bed instead.


Getting the Interview

You want to set up your career for success, so start right away with your interview! Consider these tips to ensure that you are fully-prepared and ready to present your best self.


If you want to hone your interview skills, check out our online video course “How To Ace A Job Interview.”

How to ace a job interview

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