Eye contact. Firm handshake. Sit up straight. There are plenty of things people know to make sure they do at an interview. But what are the most important things not to do? Making sure you sidestep certain issues can have just as much impact on the success of an interview as checking things off an interview to-do list. Avoid these pitfalls to keep a recruiter or company from losing interest in continuing the hiring process with you.

  1. Be vague: Being vague isn’t helpful for the candidate or the employer. If your resume says you are a developed project leader, make sure you can describe the projects and specific leadership details. Don’t describe anything you’ve worked on as “good” or “challenging” or any other adjective without being able to back up why.
  2. Use jargon or clichés: Using phrases like “work-life balance” and “synergy” can be a red flag you are only using the kind of language you think recruiters want to hear and not being genuine.
  3. Don’t elaborate: You shouldn’t stop at yes or no when answering questions. Sharing more of your story, your skills and your experiences give recruiters and companies a better understanding of what you’re capable of and why. It also shows you’re genuinely interested and capable of doing more than just the bare minimum.
  4. Be bland and unmemorable: You want recruiters and companies to remember you. This doesn’t mean be quirky or fake enthusiasm. You can easily show some humor and personality without going overboard. In short, be your best professional self.

Whether you’re speaking with a staffing professional or internal recruiter, you don’t want to say anything that will cause them to retract their interest or doubt your qualifications. Being unprepared, vague and boring in a conversation is a surefire way to make sure you don’t get moved on through the process into an interview, second interview or other hiring steps.

Securing an interview can be hard, but we can help. We connect talented people like you with quality employers every day. Contact us today to get started on your search.