By DebbieH 29 Aug 2019 5 min read

What not to do at an interview


We talk a lot at Aviation Job Search about the things you should do if you want to land your dream job – but what about the things that you shouldn’t do? 

An interview is an essential part of the recruitment process. Therefore, ample preparation is required. While you’re busy swatting up on the interview questions you could be asked, you might also want to consider the things you should avoid at your interview. Below, we take you through some of the big don’ts for your interview.


Be late

This should be a no brainer really. Showing up late to an interview is unprofessional. Allow enough time to get to your interview with 10 minutes to spare. Showing up late to your interview could suggest to the employer that you don’t see the interview as a priority. You should also make every effort to communicate with the interviewer if you know for a fact that you will be late, and it’s unavoidable. As long as you let them know, they will likely be able to accommodate you.  


Attend with no knowledge of the company

Recruiters want people who have made the effort to research their company ahead of the interview. Knowing the basics about a company is as simple as pointing and clicking. Yet, some applicants still arrive woefully unprepared. 

Without doing your homework, applicants can’t reasonably expect to articulate what skills and abilities they have that fit the position or the needs of the organisation. So make sure you learn about about the company before you head over to meet with them.


Talk too soon about money

We’re all curious about money. But that’s not the point of the interview. The recruiter is looking for the person who will best fit the role. So bringing up money before they open up the conversation could suggest to them that you are there for the wrong reasons. 

Any good HR expert will tell you not to be the first person to bring up salary, yet some think the opposite. It’s an immediate turn off.


Have your phone on loud

Unless you have a genuine emergency to see to that you have stated to your interviewer before the interview begins, your phone should be on silent for the duration of the interview. This is out of courtesy to the interviewer that there will be no interruptions – and you should definitely consider this tip if you have a questionable ringtone.


Bad mouth a previous employer

Want to talk yourself out of a new job? Then feel free to talk negatively about someone you used to work for. No matter how reasonable you think your complaints may be, you will come out the loser of this process. It gives off the unprofessional impression that you are capable of bad mouthing a future employer too. Airing dirty laundry and complaints with former bosses or co-workers are all sure-fire ways of not getting hired.


Take it easy

Applicants who appear unenthusiastic or disengage at an interview won’t be at the front of an employer’s mind post-interview. Company’s search for candidates who are excited and passionate about their mission and vision.

So be sure to do your homework and find out what’s important to the organisation. Sell yourself, and get your interviewer excited to work with you. 


Be overconfident

Yes, confidence is a great thing to have when interviewing for a job. But too much confidence can tip you towards being more arrogant. There’s a fine line between wanting the job and seeming entitled to it.

It’s okay to talk about your previous achievements, particularly if you can back it up, and ask about potential promotions within the role, but don’t assume that you have the job already – it’s not an attractive characteristic to many employers.


Dress inappropriately

The standard attire for an interview would be a smart suit for men, and smart casual wear for women. Unless stated by your employer, don’t veer from this expectation Showing up too casual can be a real turn off for recruiters, who could question your professionalism.

Interview outfit etiquette isn’t always crystal clear, but it;s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. 



It’s not a good idea to lie to a potential employer. Particularly if there are key elements of the role you know you don’t have the skills for. Everyone tells little white lies or over exaggerates from time to time, but if this involves your capability to do the job, it’s best to just be honest.

Otherwise, get ready for the most awkward first day ever when you eventually get the job and you have to reveal that you can’t speak English, or Spanish, or you don’t have great management skills, or zero customer service skills, for example. The joke will be on you.