7 ways to blow your chances of getting the job

No interview or job application process will go perfectly. Mistakes will happen. Just make sure they aren’t the kind of mistakes that will completely tank your shot at a job. Next time you pursue a professional opportunity, make sure to avoid these 7 ways to blow your chances of getting the job.


1. Not applying

This may sound like a no brainer, but there’s more to it. As young professionals, our lack of experience in the job force can make us feel inadequate. For fear of failure we decide not to even put our names in the running for an open position. Why try when there are so many better candidates out there? This defeatist attitude is the number one thing that will prevent you from getting hired. You have to believe in yourself and what you have to offer before anyone else will take a chance on you. Plus, putting your name out there and practicing the application process can only help your career.


2. Underselling yourself

Job interviews, resumes and cover letters are not a time for humility. You should always be honest, but also upfront about all your professional accomplishments and abilities. Self-deprecation may win you popularity contests, but it won’t win you a job. Be confident and stand by your work and the time you’ve spent on your accomplishments.


blow your chances of getting the job


3. Inflexibility

Once you’re in communications with the hiring manager, it’s important to show flexibility. It’s important to be willing to move around an interview time and accept the start date they’re suggesting – or at least offer some alternatives. If you’re overly stubborn or have an impossible schedule, it’s going to be hard to convince an employer to hire you. They’ll see you as inflexible and not a team player.


4. Tardiness

Turn in applications on time. Show up to job interviews 10-15 minutes before they are slated to start. Turning up late will easily sour the hiring manager’s opinion of you. If you can’t be punctual for an interview, what will it be like working with you? Being late is a guaranteed way to blow your chances of getting the job.


5. Being sloppy

An error-ridden resume or a wrinkly interview outfit will instantly tarnish your image. If you present yourself as careless, people will assume that you work that way as well. A clean, crisp appearance and polished resume will make you look more competent and worthy of the job.


blow your chances of getting the job


6. Lying about your qualifications

Being dishonest about what professional experience you have is a serious offense. If you’re caught, you’ll not only blow your chances of getting hired but also ruin any possibility of getting hired by that company – or sister organizations – ever again.


7. Using inappropriate language

Communications with potential employer require the utmost respect and dignity. Slang, cuss words and derogatory statements are absolutely off-limits. Using foul language shows immaturity, disrespect, lack of judgement and will put off your hiring manager.


Now that you know how to not blow your chances of getting the job, apply now to boost your career with an internship abroad!



1. based on RDR-20110811-119, by Ryan ResellaCC-by-2.0

2. based on Hard Work (Vicios I), by Eneas De Troya, CC-by-2.0

3. based on Professional, by jaimekop, CC-by-2.0 ND


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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