5 Top Gripes of Job Interviewers

By Koh Wanzi

Job interviews supply ample fodder for a bad case of nerves for many jobseekers. As they sweat it out in stiff-necked collars or too narrow heels, it is no surprise that many jobseekers struggle to make a stellar first impression on their interviewers. There are so many things that could trip one up at an interview, and many people do indeed fall prey to one of these countless stumbling blocks, whether unwittingly or due to negligence.

Here are the top five gripes of job interviewers – being aware of these annoyances could be the first step to avoid rubbing your interviewer the wrong way and make the interview a positive experience for both you and your interviewer.

Not Doing Your Homework

Always read up about the company and the position you are interviewing for. Nothing irks an interviewer more than an applicant that possesses scant knowledge about the company’s line of work and the nature of the prospective position. Many interviewers pose questions about the company to applicants.

It often serves as a gauge of the level of interest, initiative and work attitude the applicant will display as a hired employee. Always go into an interview with a working knowledge of the company’s history, its business, and the role you are applying for, as no interviewer likes an unprepared interviewee.

The Compulsive Texter

It’s hard to tear your eyes away from that gorgeous 5.1-inch display. But to avoid coming across as distracted and unenthusiastic about the job, you should put your phone away until the end of the interview. It is unbecoming to constantly check your phone every other minute, or worse, have it bleep or ring abruptly during the interview. Your interviewer might think that your phone will distract you at work as well if you are hired, and this wouldn’t help your chances of securing the job at all.

(Not) Dressing Up

It’s always safer to overdress than underdress. Your interviewer could start off with a fairly negative impression of you if you show up in jeans and a printed t-shirt. Not only does it look unprofessional, you will seem unaware of business dress codes and etiquette, or worse, appear supremely unconcerned and negligent – all undesirable qualities in any employee. However, as with most things, it is important to exercise discernment. If you are interviewing for a company that is known for its laidback attitude and lack of strict dress codes, showing up in a stuffy three-piece suit might not sit well with the interviewer either. Make an effort to find out more about the company’s dress code requirements, and if in doubt, err on the side of caution and dress up!

That Funky Smell

No interviewer wants to be stuck in an enclosed meeting room with someone who has a problem with body odour. Apart from the unpleasant experience, it does not bode well for your future colleagues either. Unless you have an actual medical condition, your interviewer will view your negligence as a disturbing lack of attention to personal hygiene and infer that you are in general a sloppy person who will be as unpleasant to work with as you smell.

The Braggart

Nobody likes people who boast, and an applicant who exaggerates his or her achievements and cannot stop singing their own praise will hardly earn a spot in the interviewer’s good books. In your overzealous quest for approbation, you might just end up earning the opposite. State your qualifications and achievements plainly where relevant, and don’t dwell excessively on them. In sum, if you are earnest and forthcoming, and pay attention to your dressing and personal hygiene, you can minimise the chances of getting off on the wrong foot with your interviewer and start showing why you deserve the job.

What else do job interviewers dislike? Share with us in the comment box below!

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