Things to not do in an interview…

I would say I am a fairly confident, positive person that can talk the hind legs off a donkey…and yet in interviews I can be weird, very weird (actually maybe not just interviews now I think about it…)

I manage to attract some ‘special situations’ around me as well as say some stupid things. For example, whilst doing an admin task as part of an interview, the postman came in and chatted to me (the door was open apparently) for a brief moment I thought he was a decoy, or part of the interview. He wasn’t…but he was a nice man.

So this is a mish mash of interview scenarios I have encountered here and whilst volunteering overseas, I am sharing my advice because I may help some other soul avoid these pitfalls;


  • Start questioning the interview panel like you are Alan Sugar, and they are your apprentices!
  • Get into conversations about random things, esp if you do not have the language skills to complete the conversation. Trying to explain in Nicaragua that some people in England would consider squirrels to be the ‘rats of the trees’ and at the same time pointing out that you really disagree with this…well I am pretty certain my Spanish wasn’t the only thing he had queries about.
  • rant on about how you wouldn’t enjoy doing night shifts when you’ve applied for a job that includes night shifts.
  • do a little random DANCE if anyone can see you, obviously ignore this if you are going for a dance position-regrettably in most jobs this isn’t seen as a bonus! Not an interview but for some reason on a summer project to Rwanda, I encouraged the team to dance at any given opportunity, including getting up at 5am to dance the Director of the charity off as he left for a trip…it was very awkward.
  • swear (out loud!)
  • laugh at the health and safety video
  • comment ‘when I have the job, will you…’
  • (again out loud) plan your desk layout/holidays/consider buying office plants before you get offered the job
  • start getting involved in things you don’t have the authority/experience/knowledge to get into…eg Challenging government officials in a meeting, when you don’t speak the language well and don’t have any clue about the social structure because you have been in the country 1 week.
  • Not an interview but a home visit, again abroad…don’t stroll off on their small holding farm and chat about the livestock, pretending you know it all, and then find yourself in an uncomfortable position about how to ‘soothe’ a young bull…

Yes what skills I have! We will see if anyone hires me…

One thought on “Things to not do in an interview…

  1. Of course someone will hire you Jen! Congratulations on your wonderful blog and for making stuff happen! Little dances are part of you and everyone who knows you loves you. X


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