Office 1, 122B Belmore Road, Randwick, Sydney, NSW 2031

5 Bad Habits that can turn interviewers against you

When it comes to employment, making a good first impression is important. Your interviewer will take into account your answers to their questions, demeanour and personal presentation when making a decision on whether or not to hire you. It only takes a few seconds to make a first impression, so make it count.

In this blog post Brix Projects will be highlighting some of the most common mistakes and bad habits that can ruin your chances of making a good impression and turn interviewers against you. By avoiding these, you can ace the interview and drastically improve your chances of landing the job you’ve been looking for.

Being Late (or unacceptably early)

It’s never a good idea to turn up late to an interview. In business, promptness and reliability are important qualities to have.

If you encounter traffic delays, miscalculate your route or any other unexpected issues, don’t panic! Simply contact your interviewer to advise them you will be late. This will demonstrate responsibility to your interviewer, and in most cases, they will be very understanding of legitimate issues.

An interviewer has scheduled time out of their busy day in order to accommodate you. It is poor form to arrive one hour early, as they are unlikely to be available and this will reflect poorly on you. Instead you should aim to arrive 10 minutes early, which is arriving on time.


Rambling and fidgeting are two clear signs that you are nervous and/or poorly prepared for the interview. Take a few minutes before the interview to regain your composure, brush up on the company’s history and research some typical interview questions. This will help you to avoid talking too much, as you will have a good understanding of the interview process and be well prepared to answer the questions asked of you.

When the interview begins, make sure that you listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking. This will help to avoid rambling and demonstrate good communication skills to your interviewer. You should never interrupt, and you should try to maintain a calm, even level of speech throughout the interview.

It’s also a good idea to skip your morning cup of coffee, as caffeine can make you jittery.

Verbal Pauses

Struggling to find the right words? Don’t fall into the temptation of using filler words and verbal pauses such as ‘um’, ‘ah’ and ‘you know. It is perfectly OK to ask the interviewer for a couple of moments to think about your answer, but over using these words makes you look poorly prepared and less intelligent. If you are unsure about a question, just ask for some clarification.

Bad eye contact

Maintaining eye contact demonstrates trust, confidence and a good sense of character, and it is a critical component of a successful interview. Those who maintain eye contact during conversation will make a good impression, as it shows genuine interest in the role and excellent people/communication skills which will be highly valued when interacting with colleagues and clients.

Tapping your feet/legs or being distracted

Tapping your feet is irritating and rude, especially when the interviewer is trying to speak. Nerves are natural, but you should find another way to channel this nervous energy that will not hinder your chances of landing a great job. Prepare for your interview and try to maintain a good posture throughout. Sitting up straight will convey confidence and interest in the position, as well as demonstrate that your full attention is given towards the interviewer.

It is also a good idea to turn your phone off before the interview. There is nothing worse than a candidate who checks their text messages/emails during an interview, as it shows a lack of respect toward the interviewer and disinterest in the job.

Best of luck with your interview

The interview process is the first step towards landing a new job, and it’s your time to shine. Avoid the above mistakes, demonstrate your capabilities and values you can bring to the company, and you will be well on your way towards an exciting new career.

If you are currently looking for a new opportunity, contact the friendly team at Brix Projects today on 02 9326 7541.

We have a number of exciting roles across our white collar and blue collar division, check out these hot jobs and feel free to contact us via our online contact form.

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