After twenty years in the staffing industry, we have helped a lot of good people find work. For those twenty years, our focus has been on permanent, long term work. Often times, these positions will require an onsite interview with the potential company. It is our job to best prepare candidates for these interview on what to expect, encourage good interviewing skills, and other tips to help them land the job!

Unfortunately, these interviews don’t always result in a job offer. Sometimes, a skills gap or personality clash is to blame. After twenty years in recruitment, we have heard it all. The following are some real-life examples of what NOT to do in any interview setting if you hope to land the job.

Note: No fabrications here- all of these are actual experiences from APS recruiters. 

Do not EAT during your interview.

Unfortunately, this has to be stated. It is common and sometimes accepted to bring a tea or coffee with you (although not advised) but we have had some rather extreme experiences with food in interviews. One candidate brought a muffin; ate the muffin during the interview, and left crumbs all over the floor and desk. Another brought an open two-liter of root beer to fill out his application, then opened it during the interview to take a few swigs! This may seem outlandish, but these events actually happened. Eating during your interview shows a lack of respect for the interviewer’s time, disinterest in the job, and poor judgement.

Do not bring your daughter’s resume to the interview

One of our prospects was in an onsite interview for a higher level role with one of our clients. During the interview, she shared her daughter’s resume to be considered for another opening and recommended her. This action immediately ruled her out of consideration for the role. Although the intentions were positive, she was taking the focus off of her during their evaluation. Again, this action showed poor judgement from the candidate. The interview is the best time for the company to better know you, your skills, and your goals. Do not distract from the objective: YOU getting the job!

Do NOT tell your interviewer you want the job “for beer and money”

There are countless perfectly acceptable answers for the question “why do you want this job” ? Even as a joke, responding to that question with “for beer and money” is unacceptable. First, during an interview you are creating an impression to a complete stranger. Even if this is your line of humor, you are not in a place to judge if it will be well received by the interviewer. Do yourself a favor and spend some time considering how you will answer this question- it’s likely going to come up.

Do not lie about your skills (you may end up crashing a forklift)

Yes, you read that right. We had a candidate who was very confident with his forklift-driving skill… until he had to prove it. During an onsite interview, he was required to do a quick test on the forklift equipment; the test resulted in a crash that damaged company property. Of course, you have the best intentions by highlighting skills on your resume. However, lying about these skills on paper will inevitably require you to lie during your interview. Not only are you starting the new business relationship in deceit, you’re digging yourself a hole! SOLUTION: stick to the skills you have already acquired, and express your strong interest in growing your skill set!


Need to brush up on your interview skills? APS is a locally-based employment agency in Buffalo, NY that specializes in long term, permanent placements. Don’t fall victim to any of the above scenarios, let us help you with some interview coaching!





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