Career Report
July, 2011 — Issue 137


Five Ways to Derail an Interview

An interview is one of the hardest things to obtain as a job seeker – and unfortunately, it’s also one of the easiest ways by which you can lose a job opportunity. Indeed, interview mishaps happen to everyone, but by being well-prepared and aware of potential interview blunders, you can enhance your chances of avoiding them and securing the position you desire, according to an article published by

Being well-prepared can clearly impress a potential employer, the article noted. That’s why it’s crucial to research the company ahead of time and prepare lists of questions that the employer might pose, as well as questions to ask the employer, as covered in last month’s feature story. It’s also important to relax and be yourself during the interview.

“You can essentially direct the interview to areas you are most comfortable talking about,” said Laura Rose, a life and business coach and owner of Rose Consulting, who pointed out that using this strategy relaxes the entire interview. “Listening to the interviewer answer your questions, you can clue in on his terminology and what he feels is most important. Then you can highlight those same terms and skill set in your comments back to him.”

Yet despite such preparation, there are unfortunately still many ways to derail an interview. Here, according to, are five mistakes that jobseekers need to steer clear of:

1. Inappropriate Attire

“If you are not professionally attired, you won’t get the job, even if you are the most qualified,” said image consultant Sandy Dumont. “Always dress better than required for an interview. Never dress down, because it is insulting to the other person. It says, ‘I don’t have to impress you; I dress for my own comfort.’ When you dress to impress, they get it, and you will stand out from all of the other candidates.”

2. Trying to lead the interview

“Many of my clients have children [They have a] tendency to talk over their interviewers. That’s how they manage to be heard at home and that’s what they often do in their interviews,” said Roger Cohen, a career counselor. “When you don’t listen, you don’t get invited back for a second interview. Interviewers, in general, want and expect to be in the driver’s seat.”

3. Showing up too late or too early

“If you’re more than 15 minutes early to your interview, go to the restroom and freshen up, then casually walk in about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment,” said Maggie Applegate Prasad, founder of WiSo Résumés.

4. Bringing your own food or drink

“Do not bring any food or drinks into the office of the interviewer. Many find eating or drinking a big distraction and some people are sensitive to smells,” Prasad said. “It’s best to just wait until after the interview is over.”

5. Forgetting important information

“On a sheet of paper write down the following information: company, address, phone number, hiring manager, person who scheduled the interview, position you are interviewing for and job duties,’ Prasad said. “Study this and bring it with you the day of the interview.”

News from BLK

Our BLK recruiters continue to report an increase in activity from clients even through these slow summer months. Hopefully, this is a leading indicator for resumption to increased hiring beginning after Labor Day.

BLK’s webinar series continues to receive rave reviews from job-seekers across the globe. Thank you for your positive comments; we will continue this monthly free series as part of our mission to assist all those that are looking for work. Click here to register for our upcoming webinar.

Our next community service project is the introductions of interviewing, resume and marketing tips video via “You Tube”. Subscribe to the BermanLarsonKane group on YouTube by clicking here to receive release announcements.

Enjoy your summer as we continue to witness small improvements in the overall employment market.