Ever marched into an unknown office with pure intent? Your mind focused on one thing and one thing only – landing yourself a new job. You’ve polished your CV to the point that it actually glistens under light, prepared answers for every question imaginable and cleaned up every inch of your appearance. Then, through one slight slip, it all goes horribly, horribly wrong. Well, this one’s for you.

Small mistakes and slips of the tongue are both part and parcel of the job interview process. Candidates are under immense pressure to be at their very best, which, for those that aren’t perfect in every way, actually involves acting out of character. This causes them to think carefully about how they look, what signals they’re giving off as well as the manner in which they’re speaking. More often than not, the increased pressure influences numerous errors.

However, there’s a galaxy of difference between forgetting to iron a shirt and spilling coffee all down it on the train there. There are some interview blunders which can be recovered with some quick thinking and others that bring an end to any chances of the candidate leaving the office with a job. Thus, until interview rooms start offering trap doors underneath their chairs, it’s best to learn from the mistakes of others to ensure they don’t happen to you as well…

Odd requests

At some interviews or trial days you can expect to see a fair chunk of your travel expenses reimbursed. However, you cannot expect to catch a lift with the interviewer after you’ve finished up. You can’t expect it, so don’t ask for it! The same applies for lunch: ‘Your bill, right?’. If you’ve not been told that food is on the house, save yourself the embarrassment by not asking for it.


Confidence is always a great attribute to call upon, but too much of this good thing can definitely create a bad. Play it simple with a handshake as a greeting; there’s no need for ‘bro hugs’ or anything else. Don’t let your ego get the better of you and treat the interviewer with the utmost respect. They want to see confidence paired with respect for others, a task some find too hard to juggle.

Blotches on the copybook

It’s definitely not wise to lie about anything in your interview, but there are certain ways you can sugar coat the truth for your own benefit. If you were fired after getting into a fight with an employee, for example, you could say you were released after a ‘disagreement’, rather than after giving them ‘the old one-two’. Such sentences will only be met with grimaces as opposed to rounds of applause, while you’re left to fill the silence with futile explanations.

Bad sounds

Let’s not beat around the bush with this one – launching into an activity after eating the wrong types of food can create uncontrollable amounts of wind.

Whether it’s through the mouth or, well, through another channel, a constant outpour of gas will only result in blushes all round. Baked beans, fizzy drinks and large amounts of cheese should be avoided on the day. An easy one to avoid, this, and the advice should make you more comfortable as a result.

Bad smells

Deodorant now comes in pocket-sized containers which means long walks to the office should not be met with fear. We all sweat when we move and you can stop this from having an effect on your aroma by spraying before as well as after your trip to the destination.


Companies like to hire people with a real sense of independence. Turning up with your partner, sibling or (brace yourself) your mother is therefore a big no-no. By all means grab a lift from someone you know, but resist all calls from them to accompany you into the building. You are your own person!