The 3 Best Ways to Blow a Big Interview

Job searching can be stressful, especially if you’ve had interview after interview without hearing back from any of the potential employers. It’s always possible that the other candidates applying were better suited for the position, but it’s also possible that you blew your big chance in the interview and just don’t realize what you did wrong.

If you’re in an interview funk and can’t figure out why you’re not getting hired, here are some of the most common ways that interviewees blow the interview and ruin their chances of getting called back.

1. Showing up late. Nothing says that you’re unreliable more than showing up late for your first interview. If your car breaks down or you need to take care of a suddenly sick child and showing up late for your interview is inevitable, always call as soon as possible and let your interviewer know that you respect his/her time. If you have a good reason for being late and you give your interviewer plenty of heads up, it might not be a deal breaker for getting the job.

By calling in ahead with a reasonable excuse for running late, you’re showing that you’re responsible enough to professionally handle difficult life situations, and you appreciate the interview opportunity. But if you’re late just because you forgot to set your alarm, don’t expect a second chance.

2. Lying on your resume. Some companies routinely call references and research you as a candidate before the interview. If you lied about working at a company or holding a certain position, it won’t be long before your potential employer realizes that you aren’t a trustworthy person and you probably aren’t qualified for the job they hired you to do.

Just keep in mind that touting your transferable skills is very different than outright lying about your work history.

3. Wearing inappropriate clothes for the position. If you’re interviewing for a mechanic position, showing up to the interview in jeans might be just fine. But it’s extremely important to have an understanding of the industry and make sure you’re dressed appropriately. If you’re not sure what’s appropriate interview attire, play it safe and always dress more formal. Click here to see a list of the top 11 interview outfit no-nos.