What Makes You a Bad Candidate at a Job Interview

You would be surprised at how many job-seekers are perceived by interviewers as hostile, snobby, or a “know-it-all.” The heart of any job interview is the quality of a job candidate’s responses to questions asked by the interviewer. How do the interviewers separate the wheat from the chaff and exclude the bad candidates in the hiring process? Here are the most common signs of bad interview behavior.


Bad candidates love talking about themselves and take credit for everything

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A job interview is an opportunity to sell your accomplishments and pitch your potential, but the recruiting manager won’t hire anyone who sounds like any on-the-job success he’s ever had is his and his alone. This person may become the colleague who steals ideas from others in a team or takes sole credit for a team win. Such person will poison the air in the office when he or she behaves overly selfishly – they make coffee and never refill the water in the office espresso machine, set up a print job to run hundreds copies the morning they know another team-mate is pushing up against a deadline, and when there are serious issues, they act like it’s somebody else’s problem.


A good sign? A candidate who talks enthusiastically about working collaboratively, mentions example of successful projects from the past and even give credit to his or her collaborators.


They are unprofessional or rude, or even lie about their past professional experience

What can be that unprofessional to discourage the interviewer in taking further steps and hiring you for the job, you are probably asking right now. The classic example is arriving late for the interview. Don’t panic if this happens to you – bad luck gets us all sometimes. Usually, when the candidate is sloppy by nature, he or she will pile up the mistakes in the course of the whole job interview.

One HR executive reveals his experience with unprofessional job applicant at the job interview: “The potential employee was so unprepared that he got his companies confused and repeatedly mentioned the strengths of a competing company, thinking that’s who he was interviewing with. Another candidate was calling the hiring manager conducting the interview by the wrong name the entire meeting.” This is bad, but what is even worse is when the applicant lies about his or her past experience (and gets caught doing so).

If you want to be unprofessional and rude, forget to turn off your cell phone before you walk into the interview setting and pick it up and begin a conversation when somebody calls you during the job interview.

They never discuss their shortcomings

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When asked “What is your biggest weakness?”, the bad kind of candidate will respond “I am a perfectionist!”. There are candidates who won’t ever to admit they’ve done anything wrong in the workplace, denying the laws of probability. Being able to recognize your weaknesses and willingness to work to improve it is one of the principals of learning and self-development. The hiring manager can easily recognize candidates trying to sweep the imperfections under the rug. Admitting mistakes has one more positive effect at the job interview. It signals a mature personality and confidence.

They are too good and that is too bad

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Have you ever been refused for being “overqualified”? We know, it sounds absurd, but remind yourself that a position you could do with your eyes closed probably isn’t what’s best for you. Too good applicant will most likely have one eye on the door and that’s not what the company wants when recruiting a new employee.

Genuine interest in a position, positive attitude and last but not least research and preparation are essential for a successful job interview.

Title image: Pixabay.com

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