Shoot Your Interview in the Foot

AccuStaff Interview Advice

I’ve always been a promoter of the fact that you can learn something every day – or that you can turn anything into a learning moment. My latest inspiration is a recent conversation I had with one of my clones.  I call him that lovingly since he’s picked up a few of my desirable and less than desirable personality traits.

You see, he’s obsessed with a certain tablet game that involves a certain set of aviary characters that try to destroy a certain kind of mud loving mammal.  He loves talking about it – and when I say “loves” what I mean is that’s ALL he talks about. As I had a moment to contemplate, it made me think about more tips for interviewers. A few non-traditional ‘foot in mouth’ moments come to mind that I thought we’d share. Avoid these things as they’ll likely facilitate your demise as a potential candidate during an interview.

  1. Obsessions. It’s nice to talk about things you’re interested in and have experience with. That being said, if you find yourself answering the majority of your questions with essentially the same answer for 15-20 minutes on end, you’re in trouble. Your interviewer will soon learn that’s all you have to offer. One story, one example.  If you can’t come up with multiple examples to the variety of questions you’re being asked, you likely won’t be getting a call back.
  2. Problems. Not your problems, your former employer’s problems. ‘They do this wrong, they do that wrong. They’re all messed up, disorganized; just don’t know what they’re doing.’  Hello negativity. If you’re going to be negative about them, what’s to say that you’re not going to be negative about your prospective employer or interviewer? No employer wants a negative Nelly. Next.
  3. Bragging. There’s a fine balance between being confident about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of. Going past that, you’ll be seen as arrogant or too self-assured. Even in roles that demand confidence, arrogance just works against you and the company you’re trying to be hired by. Speak to what you’ve done well, and not in an over-the-top manner. If you’re that confident in your skills, people are going to start wondering why you’re still not doing it. Try to maintain the team-player approach – do your part well, and offer to help others where possible. If you can do more, great. No need to brag.


Not sure what all of this looks like? Practice your question and answer session with others, preferably someone who’s not too close to you so as to not want to hurt your feelings. If you know someone who hires people regularly, they’re a good starting point.  Ask for critical feedback – and do something positive with that feedback. You’re asking for help, you may as well use the advice.

At AccuStaff, we see candidates commit these and other faux pas often enough that there’s legitimacy to these points. We match employers with solid candidates who meet their hiring criteria (skills and competencies) for either temporary, temp-to-hire, or direct hire positions. That being said, we work diligently at uncovering all that we can so we know if you’re a good fit for our clients – including topics like the ones listed above. Looking for more advice? Visit our blog and review the categories of information in our blog.

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