When it comes to finding advice for a job interview, the internet is bursting with unclear (and often contradictory) advice which can leave you feeling more stressed out than you were before.

Smile, but don’t show too much teeth. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer, but don’t be too familiar. Bring a spare copy of your CV, but no more than three copies (that will come across desperate).

In most interview scenarios, you’ll be measured on your experience, skills and mindset (your personality and behaviour). The rest is out of your hands.

But there are certain things you can do that will damage your chances of getting the job as well. Here are our top 5 interview fails you need to avoid at all costs:

Fail #1: You keep them waiting.

Sometimes being late is just a part of life. Bad traffic, misplaced car keys, a faulty alarm clock – it gets to us all.

But if you show up late to an interview, even if your explanation is genuine, your interviewer will most likely assume poor time management skills are the real cause rather than bad luck.

In some cases, arriving 10 to 15 minutes late to a job interview is forgivable – but anything later than that will be difficult to recover from.

Fail #2: You have a bad attitude.

Demonstrating confidence in a job interview will work to your advantage – but being arrogant, not so much.

There are a number of red flags interviewers look for to spot someone with a bad attitude. Perhaps you’re giving off the impression that the job or company is beneath you. Or you keep bragging about how great you are and taking all the credit. Or perhaps you’re pointing out all the problems you’ve faced rather than focusing on the solutions you’ve taken.

Show your interviewer that you respect their time and are interested in the job, be polite, and, most importantly, be honest about your achievements.

Fail #3: You complain about your current employer.

Most people will have a job in their career where they feel undervalued, underappreciated or unloved, and in most cases, they’re probably correct – it could be a sign that you’ve outgrown your job.

But complaining about your employer in a job interview is an automatic red flag. Not only does it indicate you have a tendency to complain when things don’t go your way, it also shows you’re probably going to complain about them too.

Fail #4: You lie about your experience.

White lies are harmless right? In some cases – sure, but in a job interview, a few seemingly harmless white lies can quickly escalate and discredit your application entirely.

From exaggerating your involvement in charitable activities through to adding a few false roles to your work experience, lies can escalate quickly, and before you know it you’re inventing completely false scenarios that the interviewer will probably pick up on. It’s easier to just tell the truth.

Fail #5: You show up unprepared.

Showing up to a job interview unprepared is like showing up to a barbeque empty-handed – it comes across as though you’re only there for the free food.

Researching what the company does, why they’re different from their competition, and why you want to work there will show your interviewer that you don’t want any odd job – you want their job.

While there are some aspects of an interview that are beyond your control, being prepared, upholding a good attitude and being honest with your interviewer will give you the best shot at landing the right job.

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