5 Bad Habits that Can Turn an Interviewer Off You


First impressions count for everything. Make a bad one, and you’re unlikely to land that perfect position. Interviews can be daunting, but it’s important to try and prepare to the best of your ability so that you can answer the questions with confidence. You should also pay attention to punctuality and mannerisms with the aim of arriving on time and being polite, respectful and composed for the duration of the interview.

At Advanced Group, we’ve been in recruitment for 15+ years, so it goes without saying that we know a thing or two about interviews. Avoid the following bad habits and you’ll be well on your way to passing your interview and landing that position you’ve been dreaming about.


Arriving Late

Being late to interview suggests that you don’t value the position and may be an unreliable employee. Turning up at the agreed time tells the interviewer that you are trustworthy, reliable and respectful of others time – all great traits to have!

Try to allow at least 30 minutes extra time to get to your interview. Traffic delays and emergencies are a part of life, but with a bit of extra time up your sleeves they needn’t be of any concern. If you are held up for a significant amount of time, just give your interviewer a courtesy call to let them know. In many cases they will be happy to reschedule the interview for a later date.

It’s also not a good look to arrive excessively early. Arriving on time means arriving approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled interview.

Incoherent Speech/Rambling

It’s easy to tell when a candidate has not done any research on the company interviewing them. Fidgeting and incoherent rambles suggest that you are nervous and lack confidence. It’s normal to be a little nervous, but if you do a bit of research on the company and typical questions asked by interviewers there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to get through this.

Don’t rush your answers – take the time to listen carefully to the question. Compose your thoughts, then provide your answer using a calm yet confident tone of voice. Try to avoid stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine prior to your interview, they will only exacerbate your nerves.

Speaking clearly and confidently is highly valued in business, and it’s a skill that anyone can learn. Perhaps you might like to practice in front of a mirror to improve your skills.

Verbal Pauses

Filling in sentences with words such as ‘um’, ‘ah’ and ‘you know’ only wastes time and makes it difficult to follow a line of conversation. It’s natural for these words to slip in every now and then, but they shouldn’t be used excessively as this indicates poor preparation and lack of knowledge. If you’re not quite sure how to answer a question, or if you think you misheard it, you should ask the interviewer to repeat it.

Failure to Maintain Eye Contact

Just like a firm handshake, looking someone in the eye  demonstrates trust, loyalty, confidence and a determined character. Whether it’s a blue or white collar role, basic communication skills and the ability to get along well with your colleagues is essential.

Always maintain eye contact with the interviewer during conversation. You’ll be seen in a positive light and be far more likely to be shortlisted as a possible candidate.

Tapping of Feet and Being Distracted

As an employee there is always something that needs to be done. If you are constantly tapping your feet and being distracted by environmental factors (e.g. sound of a phone ringing) it suggests you are not that keen on the role and may not be able to perform all the duties required of you.

Try to channel nervous energy elsewhere. Tapping your feet is rude and inconsiderate to the interviewer, and so too is constantly checking your phone. Instead you should focus on maintaining good posture and maintaining eye contact, and you’ll be seen as a conscientious and capable candidate.


Good Luck from Advanced Group

No one really enjoys interviews, but they are a necessary part of the recruitment process. By avoiding the mistakes listed above you can make a great first impression which will place you in good stead to land the job you desire. We wish you the best of luck!

Advanced Group have many exciting positions currently waiting to be filled. If you’re looking for work, please get in touch with our friendly recruitment team today on 02 8086 3444 or submit an enquiry through our website.