I’ve been both an interviewer and interviewee for a few times in the past 10 years (interviewee while looking for a job, and interviewer as a student representative member in university). I must admit, interviews can be scary at times, especially when you are very serious about the interview or when you are faced with an interviewer from hell.

However, I believe the only person who controls the result of an interview is you as an interviewee (unless your interviewer likes to interview people for fun……and not looking for someone to fill a job role).

In this post, let us discuss how can you, as an interviewee, actually screw up an interview (I’ve screwed up quite a lot in the past).

  1. You never do your research on the company
    • Researching on the background of the company you’re applying to is important.
    • Know what they do, their history, their mission statements and company culture.
    • You know you’ve screwed up the interview when you’re asked the question “What do you know of this company?” and you answered “Nothing” or something which is completely false.
  2. You don’t know the job role
    • When you applied for a job, it’s important to remember what job position did you apply for.
    • It’s important to ask for the full details of a job description during an interview.
    • If you ask your interviewer what’s the role you applying for……then forget it, you’re screwed. For example, don’t ever ask questions such as “What exactly is my job role?” or “I applied for the job business analyst, what’s the job role?” when you actually applied for developer.
  3. You’re dressed up, but for a picnic..not an interview
    • Remember the job position you applied and dress up appropriately for the interview.
    • Don’t be exaggerating (overly formal). Don’t dress like a businessman when you’re applying for a clerk position. Dress to show you’re serious about the interview.
    • If you’re a guy applying for an IT developer position, a tidy shirt with a neck-tie should be sufficient. If you’re applying for an executive or management role, wear a suit if possible.
    • Feel free to dress up like a clown or a party guy for an interview if you want to mess it up (and a chance to be part of the company’s list of blacklisted candidates).
  4. You lost your temper
    • You’re being bombarded by the interviewer(s)…..and you don’t find that amusing. What would you do? BEAR WITH IT !
    • Some interviewers do prefer if you argue with them, using constructive comments and valid points.
    • It might be another test of your patience…..part of the interview process.
    • Be prepared to look for another job when you lost your temper and started to scold the interviewers.
  5. You’re not honest
    • If you don’t know how to answer a question, be honest and answer don’t know.
    • If you don’t like the job description, be honest and stop wasting time. Tell the interviewer you’re not interested after knowing the details.
    • If you’re being dishonest to yourself and your answers, you might be able to cheat your way through some inexperienced or desperate interviewers. However, it is most likely you won’t pass when faced with experienced interviewers who can see through your lies.
  6. You think too highly of yourself
    • Always be honest AND humble. Don’t boast.
    • If you claimed you know A, B, C, and D……but when you’re asked questions on these fields, you couldn’t answer them. You’re screwed.
    • OR, if you think you deserve a much higher pay when your knowledge and experience are pretty limited…..you’re overconfident. You probably don’t deserve your asking price. Some interviewers will be honest with you and let you know your exact worth or what they can pay for your level…….while other interviewers might be more cruel by failing you straightaway.
    • Ask for the impossible, if you don’t intend to work for the interviewer.
  7. You’re in +8 GMT timezone, but you thought you’re in + 6 GMT
    • This is simple. If you’re late for an interview, it means you’re not serious.
    • If you’re not serious………you’ve screwed it up. Simple as that.
  8. You’re unlucky
    • Luck plays an important role in an interview.
    • If you’re unlucky, you’ll meet an interviewer from hell. His sole purpose is to make your life miserable.
    • OR, you fall sick on that day. I don’t think it’ll be nice if you keep sneezing during an interview.
    • OR, something bad happened and made you miss the interview………..or late for the interview.

There might be few other ways to screw up your interviews. The above shall give you a simple picture of the things you shouldn’t do in an interview, if you’re serious about it. Hope it helps. 😉