9 Sure-Fire Ways to Sabotage Your Job Interview

Are you in the mood for some career-destroying behaviour or do you simply enjoy unemployment? If, god forbid, you get invited to an interview, here are 9 ways you can utterly ruin your chances. Apart from the proven strategy of simply not showing up, that is. 

1. Don’t prepare

Questions such as, “What do you know about us?” and “Why do you want to work for us?” are interview classics and not even developers can escape them. If you don’t do any research about the company beforehand, you’ll definitely be found out during the interview which means a big black mark for you. 

2. Drone on and on about yourself (including unwanted details)

We have already written in detail about how much honesty is too much in an interview, but it can’t be left off the list of interview sabotagery. Although we generally recommend openness if you want to succeed at an interview, gushing about yourself to the point where it’s just too much is a proven way of scaring off your potential new employer. The more controversial, personal, and vulgar you can be, the better the sabotage effect will be. 


3. Arrive late without apology or phonecall

Arriving too early also works (think at least 30 minutes early), but lateness is significantly more reliable. For maximum effect, you should get to the interview a good 15 minutes late without the semblance of an apology. Under no circumstances should you call the company to inform them of your tardiness - such a thoughtful and considerate action could sabotage your sabotage. 

4. Clothing? Forget it. 

The outer shell matters not. Yeah, that creased t-shirt could probably use an iron and the ketchup stain is possibly a little unsightly, but surely no-one is shallow enough to care about such insignificant and minor details, right?

5. Start with a long list of demands

Nothing screams “me, me, me” louder than starting the interview by reciting a list of your demands. If this doesn’t come across as arrogant enough, make it crystal clear that you won’t budge from your wishlist under any circumstances. You’ve got your price, so let’s see if they think you’re worth it. 

6. Badmouth your old boss

If you want thoroughly ensure an interview scandal, don’t forget to ruthlessly criticise your previous boss. Don’t leave out any of the negative details and don’t be afraid to get creative. Your potential boss will then start to worry if you’ll be doing the same thing about her in a year. At this point your interview failure is almost in the bag. 

7. Underestimate yourself

The more you play down your skills and work experience, the greater the likelihood of blowing your chances at the interview. It works best if you basically tear your CV into pieces. 

8. Make out that you’re superman

If you’re not feeling the underestimation technique, try the opposite approach: unwavering confidence and a chronic overestimation of your abilities. There’s nothing better than trying to kid the interviewer into thinking you know all kinds of things only for this completely unravel when he dares to ask about one of the specific skills you...ahem...embellished your knowledge of. 

9. Make it clear than you only care about the money

The main aim is to make sure that no-one thinks you are in the slightest bit interested in the company at hand (nor, god forbid, the people in it). From the outset, say that you’re only interested in what you’ll get out of the cooperation, especially regarding financial compensation and other benefits. 


If, on the other hand, you’re after some constructive advice on finding a job (not only) in IT, download our free E-book, “How to find the IT job of your dreams”