8 Ways To Bomb Your Interview In 10 Minutes


Ever wonder why you don’t get a call back after what you thought was a “great” interview?

Take a gander at our How To Bomb Your Interview In 10 Minutes below (our readers requested it!) and see if you made any of these mistakes:

1. Go Casual

 You have this interview in the bag- who cares if you’re wearing jeans! You’re Gen Y! Steve Jobs doesn’t wear suits!

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”  – Mark Twain

I’m not suggesting you show up to your interview naked (although that would certainly end your interviewing excursion. Mission accomplished!) Ask the recruiter ahead of time, on the phone or email, about the company dress code. If asking is uncomfortable for you, play it safe with dress pants or slacks and a nice shirt and tie; or skirt and blouse. Even at a “laid back” start-up would be impressed with your professionalism. Better to be over dressed than…well, naked.

2. Arrive Unprepared

 You emailed your resume – certainly the hiring manager had time to memorize it, or at least to print it and bring copies with him. Right?

Bring copies of your resume to the interview. And having a quality notebook or leather-bound portfolio in which to take interview notes will add to the impression that you’re a professional. The more you know about the company and industry before the interview, the better. Do your research to learn the company’s history, major competitors, market niche, products, etc.

3. The Weak Handshake

This is a time-honored first impression killer. The interviewer enters the room. They greet you warmly, smiling, and extend their hand to grasp yours…this can be an awkward moment if you over-think it. Will your hands meet correctly? Will they land slightly askew, resulting in that quasi-handshake, half high-five event?

Use a firm handshake to indicate confidence and potential strength of character.  And definitely make solid eye contact with the interviewer! That will display some competence and social ability.

4.  Your Cell Phone Rings 

This is an easy one to forget since most of us are so completely tied to this little electronic second brain. Turn your phone off (completely off!) before the interview.  If you forget and it does ring, DO NOT answer it, or even consider sending a quick text while the interviewer’s head is turned. This is more inappropriate and annoying than couples who hold hands at the gym! The hiring manager will definitely notice your lack of social etiquette.

5. Your Eyes Glaze Over, Your Shoulders Hunch, You Yawn…

Your body language communicates loudly. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Sit forward- it shows active interest with your full body. Nod your head at appropriate times and ask questions throughout the interview. An interview should be a two-way conversation. Give your interviewer time to explain the opening and the company culture, but jump in with quality questions. By “quality questions” I don’t mean: “How long is lunch in this office?” or “I have a vacation with my boyfriend coming up soon. Is that ok?”

6. Show Me The Money!

You’re just starting out in your career – you’ve already earned a big salary! You should bring that up right away, right? Wrong.

Discuss the position first and foremost. Sure, being paid for your time and skills is how capitalism works! But focus on the job details first- discuss compensation afterward, once you and the recruiter agree that you’re the right fit.

Before the interview, research your industry’s salary rates and the cost of living for the area.  You’ll be prepared to negotiate a salary that will cover your living expenses and enable you to set aside savings for emergencies. Having a job is only great when you can afford to pay your bills. Being underemployed is just as hard as being unemployed.

7. Be Really Un-Friendly

With the exception of very technical positions, employers interview for skills, but they hire for personality. Most entry level skills can be learned through on the job training. The interview reveals if you will be a good fit with the manager and their team. (I once got a job where the interviewer was a big golf nut. I play golf, so we talked about golf the entire interview).

Don’t use polite manners, smile or have an engaging and articulate conversation with the interviewer – avoid these as they will most certainly encourage the hiring manager to consider you further.

8. The Follow Up

Your best chance of not being hired is to blend in with the tens, or sometimes hundreds of other applicants… like job seeking camouflage! Don’t fall into the forgotten pile- send a follow up letter after the interview; at the very least an email to thank the interviewer for their time and add a few memorable points from your discussion (maybe even a question or two that you thought of after the interview). Better yet, send an old-school hand-written letter.

Most interviewees send resumes and wait… or interview and hope. If you don’t want to get hired… don’t stand out.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at YouTern.

About the Author: Dave Ellis, is an original member of the YouTern team and instrumental to its success… in fact, he’s so awesome there wouldn’t be a YouTern without him (and he might have written this bio himself). In his spare time, Dave volunteers, rescuing and rehabilitating sea lions and baby elephant seals.


  1. Jon says

    This makes no sense:
    “Don’t use polite manners, smile or have an engaging and articulate conversation with the interviewer – avoid these as they will most certainly encourage the hiring manager to consider you further.”

  2. Cynthia Jerman says

    Yes, that was confusing. I had to read that twice, “don’t use polite manners, don’t smile etc. That did not come out right.

  3. Jason says

    I had to read it a couple of times myself. This is what to do if you DON’T want to get hired. The title of the article is “8 ways to bomb your interview in less than 10 minutes.” So maybe it should read: “Use polite manners, smile or have an engaging and articulate conversation with the interviewer – do these things as they can most certainly encourage the hiring manager to consider you further.”

  4. Eggnog says

    This is geared for GEN Y! So how they roll, is different than any other Generation. This is for recent college graduates, maybe even junior college or a business school. Someone who hasn’t done a lick/stitch of work since they hit earth running. Go to the latest and greatest “What color is my parachute” for collaboration of interview forpaughs.

  5. Ms Tee says

    You will definately Bomb you interview b NOT getting hired! You are entering a professional role now, not vac work!And you have to act and look the part. *spoken fom a GEN-Y*

  6. says

    I can’t believe people actually thought you were saying don’t be polite.I understand why they don’t have jobs.What has changed is the handshake.The women HR rep does not really appreciate a firm handshake like the male.A male appliocant has to be careful to actually let the women HR person to lead as to the firmness or lack thereof

  7. Steve says

    This article makes me think of a job interview I had 30 years ago when I spoke before I thought of what was coming out of my mouth. I was talking about a previous boss who happened to be Jewish. I actually made the comment “well, you know how Jewish people are” and he looked at me kind of funny. Next thing I know, he has me in the President’s office so I could repeat the story of my old boss. (Both of them were Jewish) But here’s the kicker- because I spoke my mind and said something that he remembered me for, I ACTUALLY GOT THE JOB! So this article may actually have some truth to it. You need to GO BIG OR GO HOME! (But THINK before you SPEAK!)

  8. Gerard Serpico says

    As someone who has interviewed hundreds of candidates for a multitude of positions, I am going to buck with tradition here. Specifically, Number 8….the Follow-up. If you want to blend in with all the other candidates, send a generic follow-up letter. Most follow-up letters that I have received over the years have been the same…Thank you for the interview…I am excited about the position….I will make a great addition to your orgnaization….I look forward to moving to the next step. Considering the sheer volume of applicants AND the sheer volume of interviews, most of my managers barely look at these things!

    That being said, if you have something to say or additional quesitons to ask, a follow-up letter is more that helpful. That will make an employer sit up and take notice, especially if the questions are well thought out and pertinent to the position at hand . However, if you have nothing add, I have found that employers are unimpressed and in some cases, it is better not to send a letter. It’s like what our parents always told us, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

  9. Patricia says

    How often should a candidate touch base with a company regarding their status as a candidate.
    I do not understand why recruiters or hiring managers do not feel as though it is unprofessional to leave a candidate who has had a face to face interview without feedback in regard to their standing as a candidate. Is this common practive?

  10. says

    Hi Patricia, unfortunately it is a common practice for interviewers to leave candidates hanging even after an in person interview. I’d suggest following up with your interviewer right after your interview in a thank you email. Be sure to ask when you can expect to hear back from them. If they give you an answer and you haven’t heard back from them in that time frame, send another email just saying, “I wanted to check on the status of ____position. I’m still very interested in this role. Is the position still open?” If you don’t get a response from them, it’s time to move on and focus your job search efforts elsewhere. Hope this helps and best of luck!

  11. joaquin says

    Here’s the thing folks everything is based on the psychology of the moment. The interviewers personality the fact that most of them can only look you in the eye for a seconfd or two shouldn’t change your approach but you also have to adjust to their personality at a moments notice the old adage think on your feet applys here. I know this seems vague and esoteric but you have to learn to read the interviewer as your walking up to him and as you walk to the interviewrs place of preference. In technolgy yor intrviewer is most likely more geeky than business. Just keep positive mind and a cool head.

  12. Covey G says

    Notice 8 ways to BOMB your interview…..after reading the ways, i thnk bomb is meaning “blow” the interview not as being a successful thng!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>