Acing your US Visa Interview, what not to do 

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  • Failure to prepare your documents in advance

When opportunities meet preparedness, success occurs. Being prepared for your visa interview with your documents and credentials shows that you are a responsible and efficient individual. Don’t be caught sorting out your papers in the middle of your visa interview.

  • Presenting your documents in an unprofessional and illegible manner.

Do not present your interviewer with damaged or torn documents. Make sure that copies of your documents are clear and legible. It is unprofessional to present torn documents at your visa interview. In addition to being embarrassing, the interviewer will have difficulty seeing what’s written on the torn document.

  • Not delivering your message confidently.

You can only have confidence if you trust yourself. Trusting yourself comes from being prepared. The ability to show your interviewer you trust yourself is critical to your visa interview, as it can create a mutual sense of trust. Making eye contact during your interview will make you appear more confident. Stuttering should also be avoided when speaking, as well as maintaining good posture whether you’re seated or standing.

  • Responding to the questions asked in a non-honest and inarticulate manner

Understand that it is always in your best interest to respond honestly to interview questions. Depending on the circumstances around an interview, an investigation of who you are may be carried out and you’ll stand no chance of getting a  visa if you are found wanting. Answering your interview questions honestly gives an impression that you can be trusted. Demonstrate that you understand having integrity means doing the right thing even under challenging circumstances. When answering the question, listen attentively, collect your thoughts/responses, and speak clearly. Choose your vocabulary carefully, never use vulgar words and do not talk carelessly or try to make careless jokes.

  • Never arrive late for an interview

Nothing else shows that you don’t want the visa than being late for your interview. It gives a bad impression about you and that’s aside the fact that it portrays you as being inconsiderate of other people’s time. A lot of things can go wrong if you show up late for your interview. Imagine that the interviewer has scheduled to meet up with someone else after a stipulated time for interviewing you. It will be very wrong of you to show up late. Showing up late also gives an impression that the US visa is not a priority to you. No one wants to deal with someone who isn’t reliable or who cannot meet deadlines.

  • If you do not understand a question, ask the interviewer to clarify. Do not misunderstand questions so as to avoid giving inappropriate answers.

It is also inappropriate to offer answers that are exaggerated or explanations that are not needed. Try to keep your thoughts organised and not lose your focus.

  • Being unprepared

Just like you’ll prepare before attending a job interview, it is also important to prepare adequately before attending a US visa interview. The preparation should extend to how you appear, the time you arrive, and the way you respond to interview questions. Preparation helps you avoid stuttering when asked a question. Preparation also brings out the confidence in you and helps you not to be anxious.

  • It is never a good idea to argue with the visa interviewer.

Your interviewer is most likely going to be a professional who has got years of experience and has mastered his act so the chances of you knowing more than your interviewer may be quite low. Listen attentively and ask for clarification where you need to. Do not argue with your visa interviewer.  He most likely knows a lot more than you do as regards the US visa. Arguing with your interviewer may also put you in his bad books.

  • Don’t wear inappropriate clothing

According to Devoreaux Walton, an etiquette expert and founder of, 

 attires that are always inappropriate for a job interview includes flip flops, wedge sandals, ripped jeans or shorts, tank tops, halter tops, sandals, strapless tops and dresses, and athletic attire like yoga pants and sneakers,”  inappropriate attire can also indicate inconsiderate behaviour, as some outfits can serve as a distraction during the interview.

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