A job interview is certainly a time that you want to be your best. Unfortunately, many candidates drop the ball. Here are 15 surefire ways, according to HR managers, to blow that job interview.

Arrive Late

This one seems quite obvious, and it should be. In the event that unavoidable, and unforeseen events are going to make you even one minute late, call ahead and let the recruiter know.

Not Dressing Appropriately

Research the employer and dress appropriately for your interview. Dressing appropriately also means not dousing yourself in cologne or perfume.

Winging It

Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Then prepare some more. You should perform deep research on a prospective employer and know everything you possibly can prior to interviews. They will not appreciate your ability to wing it under pressure.

Focusing Your Questions on Yourself

Toward the end of the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. One huge mistake at this point is to make it all about you. Avoid asking about salary, bonuses, benefits, time off, and any other self-centered questions. Ideally, you should prepare 4 – 5 questions prior to the interview.

Clichéd Answers

When your interviewer asks you about your weaknesses, by all means, do not reply, “I tend to be very impatient and want solid results as quickly as possible.” The odds of you coming up with something “clever” that the interviewer has never heard before is slim. Just answer the question honestly.

Appearing Combative

It is important to make a connection with the person conducting the interview. Some questions are going to be probing, so be aware of that going in. Don’t get defensive or combative. That is a surefire way to make your interview DOA.

Criticize Former Employers

This is another item that should be obvious. However, recruiters cite this as a top reason that candidates fail interviews.

Lying

Lying about education and former positions held have killed many-an-interview. Always assume that the employer is going to follow up on all references.

Rambling On

In a recent survey, 28% of recruiters cited candidates who give rambling, irrelevant answers as a reason they did not advance candidates in the prior 30 days. Be concise. Be on topic.

Poor Body Language and Eye Contact

Sit up straight, but not stiff and don’t fiddle with things. Practice this in the mirror or with a friend. It’s normal to be nervous during an interview, but the more you practice the more relaxed you’ll be. Also, make sure to make good eye contact. Keep in mind that good eye contact is not a stare down. It is natural and flowing.

Interview Interrupted by Your Phone

Turn your phone off. Enough said.

Poor Handshake

This is another one that we’ve all heard, but it is true. A poor handshake is likely to make a bad first impression.

Arrogance

Almost every interviewer has stories about candidates who go out of their way to one-up the recruiter. This obviously is not a good tactic to employ. Another one that will get you nowhere quickly is being rude to the receptionist. Mind your manners.

Get Too Personal

While you do want to make a connection with the interviewer, this is not the place to get overly personal. A good interviewer will make you feel comfortable. But that doesn’t mean that she wants to know about your political leanings, religion, etc. Keep it friendly, but not too friendly.

Bring Up Salary Too Soon

Believe me, the salary issue will be discussed. But not in the first interview. Show interest in the employer and position first. There will be plenty of time to discuss pay and perks later.

Danielle Foppe is a Lead Technical Recruiter at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle directly at dfoppe@bct-corp.com or call us at 972-267-7950. Business Centric Technology specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.