INTERVIEWS / JAN. 27, 2016
version 8, draft 8

Interviewer's Pet Peeves

The job market is a competitive place, an accumulation of alpha individuals vying for the same positions with the ferocity of buffet-goers competing for the last piece of Oreo cheesecake. Trust me it’s a vicious cacophony of clanging spoons, as chocolate syrup flies haphazardly in all directions. In such an unforgiving market you want to have as many advantages as you can get and you definitely don’t want to piss off the most important person involved in the process: the interviewer. Here are some of the biggest pet peeves interviewers have, which you should definitely avoid if you want to sink your fork into that sweet, sweet Oreo cheesecake of a job..  

See Also: How to Handle Illegal Interview Questions

Too Much of A Good Thing

I understand that you want to get gussied up like a state-fair show pony, but put down the eye-liner and listen; over doing it with make-up, attire or even perfume can and most probably will rub the interviewer the wrong way. Beyond that over-doing your look can make you seem unprofessional, keep it simple, clean and natural…OK, not that natural, take a shower before you go and use deodorant, this isn’t Burning Man hippie.

Too Much or Too Little


For the uninitiated interviews are all about communication, which is a complex system of language, delivery and body language. You should know that already, but I prefer to tread on the safer side of things, there are always a few duds in the crowd. To help me illustrate imagine a line: on one end we have the communication skills of an awkward thirteen-year-old talking to the opposite sex and on the other side we have the communication style of an inquisitive five-year-old that has ingested its body weight in chocolate and physically can’t stop talking. Obviously, the middle is a healthy well-adjusted adult trying to get a job. Talking too much or making the conversation between you and the interviewer as laborious as separating grains of rice by weight can and most definitely will hurt your job prospects.

Eye Contact

Again this is a sort of spectrum; on one end you have...well, again the awkward thirteen-year-old talking to the opposite sex and on the other side you have the penetrative laser-like stare of a hawk barreling down on its prey. Looking at your feet, around the room or your resume that sits in front of you can have two negative effects: one it has the potential to distract the interviewer, thus convoluting your responses to their questions and secondly it can make you seem like a liar or someone with a lack of confidence.

On the other side of the coin: making constant unblinking and ceaseless eye-contact can make the interviewer think you’d like to kill them and eat their liver with a side a fava beans and a nice Chianti.

The Street


If there is one environment further detached from the proverbial “street”, it has to be the contemporary conference room in which most interviews take place and that my friends is how I come to the next item on my list. If and when you get an interview and no matter how much “street-cred” you have keep the street in the street and become corporate.

Using slang and street talk during the interview is one of hiring managers biggest pet peeves, it makes the candidate sound profoundly unprofessional and in some cases might even make them seem less than intellectual. So like, totes keep it like clean and totes professional bae.

Do you know any other pet peeves interviewers or hiring managers have? Let us know in comment section below.

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