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What are some disqualifying behaviors or actions you have seen during the interview process?


LaShonda Wise Manassas, VA

- What are some interview no no’s?

4 April 2019 10 replies Interviews



LaShonda Wise Manassas, VA


If salary is mention, what is the best way to answer this question?


Neal Benedict Houston, TX

LaShonda - great responses here. One other. Dont discuss salary in the interview if possible. If you do make sure what they are proposing for the "range". Remember they are trying to get your skills and experience at the lower end of their comp range. Don't let them take you there by asking you what you want.


Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

The big no-no's I have seen written about 1) speak poorly about your former employer or supervisor-they will address this by asking about negative situations and how did you work your way out. A lot of folks are taken back by "what did you do the first time you and your supervisor did not agree on something?". 2) Learn your accomplishments as stories, people like to listen to stories and they are easier to remember. Be sure you always give them the situation and a result-accomplishment, value!! Employers spend a lot of time trying to determine are you bringing value or a suitcase of issues? Put yourself in their shoes. 3) Be sure and mention that much of your role was internal customer service or internal process improvement-resulting in savings or a higher mission readiness. Civilians do not understand 90% of the military work very very hard to keep the 10% tactical action operating. That includes information, supplies, HR, mentoring, training......
Thank you for your service. God Bless.


Michael Mays Great Falls, MT

Prior to your interview, learn about the company/organization that you will be interviewing with. Visit their Website and get up to speed. One of the questions they will likely ask is "why do you want to work for our firm'. You should be able to tell them what you like about their company and are interested in what they do. They may ask you for some specific examples.

I have interviewed many people who have not bothered to visit our Website prior to arriving at our offices.


James OBrien Williamsburg, VA

First thank you very much for your service, we appreciate it. I must say the most that are an issue I just don't see in the military because your behavior, respect, punctuality and how you carry yourself are a non-issue. So the quick list is first on respect you show to interviewer which is are you dressed appropriately for the level of the job, do you show respect for the interviewer by your general remarks(yes sir, thank you Madam, please), a good handshake while looking the person in the eye. Pay attention to the question and answer honestly. Be prepared to give a 30 - 90 second recap of your career and importantly why you are interested in that company. Have a copy of your resume ready in case it is misplaced. Have a list of at least three references ready. Do at least a cursory review of the company and know its products/services. Please try and know any current events. A lot of these are yes items but give you a good start on coming across in a very positive manner. Some no no's: don't avoid eye contact, don't be shifty in the chair, don't assume anything please ask, don't assume they know your resume well so be prepared to provide a synopsis, don't ask any forward questions, keep it professional not personal, if there was a difficult bump in the road have a prepared answer that is non-controversial and always tell the truth.
Good luck and thank you again for your service.

James O'Brien


Jodie Prieto-Rodriguez Pittsburgh, PA


Please review the following link:

Employers are not allowed to ask or discriminate the questions listed in the website. I recommend emulating the same practice and being "more professional" than your civilian interviewer.

I had an interview for a marketing firm that was promoting the DARE program in Woodbridge, VA. During the interview they asked me how I felt working with "black kids" Joke.. the interviewer actually stated that. Even though I was beside myself in curious disgust, I responded that "I had no issues working with Teenagers" (stressing the word teenager). Where the interviewer chose to go low, I went high. I didn't work with the organization and respectfully declined employment.

Have a personality and be optimistic during an interview. Stay away from being conversationally judgmental about social issues and stick to personal taste and interest.


LaShonda Wise Manassas, VA

I appreciate all of the examples and reference materials. For someone who has never interviewed this process is a little unnerving.

Thank you all again!


George Wilhelmsen Rochelle, IL

Thank you for your service.

With regards to your question, there have been a few.

In one case, an individual showed clear bias towards an employee, and actually set up rules without telling them to penalize them for an activity. It needed to be coached - the approach used was predatory, and we can't accept that in our organization.

I have heard of men coming into an interview, and assuming the woman there was a secretary, and asked them to get him coffee. Turns out the woman was the hiring manager - the interview didn't go well from there. It was a pilot by the way who did this.

I have had a few people who demonstrated in questions they would be difficult to deal with, or high maintenance. Their way or no way. That approach isn't good for teamwork, and we avoided them.

We ask questions about what someone's best achievement has been, looking to see what motivates people in work. One person gave us their kid as their best achievement. They might have been right, and it wasn't the job fit we were looking for.

I hope this helps. I've interviewed around 100 people in my career. We used Targeted Selection, and find it does an excellent job for us if we pay attention to what the people are saying.


Ian Weissman New York, NY

Hello LaShonda,

Thank you for your question and your 23 years of service.

Below I've provided some links that deal directly with job interview dos and don'ts, some being more subtle than others! - Learn How to Become - The Muse - Forbes

I hope these are helpful, if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask!

Have a great day,

ACP Staff


Chad Eaves Lake Zurich, IL

Hello LaShonda,

I recently saw an interviewee disparage ethnic groups/nationalities when talking about international work and/or travel. The interviewee was not even aware she was being offensive.

Have a good evening!


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