12 May 2022

Unlucky for all… Interview faux pas to avoid on Friday the 13th and every other day

If you’re a suspicious type, you might question if there’s even any point of turning up to a job interview on Friday the 13th. It sounds odd, but in this modern age there are still plenty of people who eschew doing things on Friday the 13 for fear of bad luck — airlines even tend to sell tickets for less for dates flying on Friday the 13th to entice people to book!

We think there’s no reason to avoid a job interview on Friday the 13th, but whether you are triskaidekaphobic or not there are a few interview faux pas you should avoid doing today and well… every day! Here’s what to avoid in order to give you the best chance of landing your next role


Being late

Spilling coffee down your shirt and needing to get changed before you head out, getting caught in a traffic jam or maybe you just plain oversleep. There are many reasons you could be late on the date of your interview, and it might feel like if they happen on Friday the 13th it’s the day’s fault, but the trouble is interviewers rarely look upon lateness favourably.

Our advice is to always plan to get to the rough location of your interview an hour early. Sit in a coffee shop nearby and do your final prep, that way you can arrive calm, cool and collected but most importantly on time, and be sure to check Google Maps so you don’t get lost in the last five minutes.

If the premises is far out of the way on a commercial or business park this may not be possible. In which case it may be worth doing a practice run one day before the interview to see how long it actually takes to get there.

Sometimes things conspire against you and lateness is unavoidable, in these cases call your interviewer as soon as possible and tell them honestly what has happened. Hopefully they will be able to reschedule your interview

Being early is good, just don’t be too early. Arriving more than 5-10 minutes early can be tricky for your prospective employer as they might not be ready for you and have nowhere suitable for you to wait.


Being unprepared

While there are a few acceptable excuses for lateness, there’s no reason to have not done your homework. This sounds obvious but you’ll be amazed how often interviewers meet a candidate who doesn’t have the first idea about the organisation or the role.

Not only is being unprepared unlikely to land you the job, but it also often leads to an awkward, drawn-out interview that’s painful for all parties involved. Especially if you keep side-skirting questions.

Prepping for likely questions is important but give yourself time to do a deep dive of the organisation, its history and its ethos. It’s always apparent when a candidate has swatted up and having a good knowledge of the company could be the thing that lands you the job.


Being rude

Whether you’re in a bad mood, or the person who greeted you seems a bit snippy, rudeness is a massive no-no. Be polite and personable to everyone you meet on the day. Sometimes a candidate’s nerves get the better of them and they find themselves seeming rude without meaning to.

This is particularly important for candidates of more senior roles! Coming across coldly to any junior potential co-worker, who might welcome you to the building or offer you a drink on arrival, could look really bad. You don’t want to seem like you’re ‘too important’. Even if you still get the job after this you might find yourself with a bit of negative reputation around the workplace.

Remember to take your time to introduce yourself to everyone. Smile, shake their hand and ask them how they are, its that simple.


Being unenthused

We know that finding a job can seem exhausting, and if you’ve had several interviews over the course of a week, or perhaps even on the same day, burnout can seem inevitable. But coming across with enthusiasm is really important.

Often candidates who are fielding for several different jobs at once will have an order of preference, and their enthusiasm dramatically flags for the roles towards the bottom of that list.

The thing is — by coming across as really unenthusiastic you’re probably not going to get the job, so why are you there? You’re not only wasting the interviewer’s time you’re wasting your own. If you’ve gone through the trouble to apply for a job and get an interview endeavour to keep your esteem up in the interview, no one wants to fall at the last hurdle.


Being a bit too enthused

While enthusiasm is really important, there is such a thing as being a bit too enthusiastic, and this is often a stumbling block for fresh graduates who don’t have much experience with job interviews.

Being passionate about what you do is really good. Crushing your interviewer’s hand with a vicelike handshake while you shout from the rooftops about how you love every single aspect of the job can come across as a little intense and disingenuous. Remember interviewers are looking for a glimpse of the real you, and what makes you tick.

If you’re relatively inexperienced with interviews then ask a friend, partner, or family member to review how you come across responding to potential questions to gage your demeanour.

Looking for more interview tips?

Check here for all of our top candidate advice.