Any sensible person will spend the days and weeks leading up to a job interview preparing answers to questions they are likely to get asked. But how much time do you spend thinking about what you should NOT say? It’s just as important, as an ill-judged statement or question might completely ruin your chances of getting your dream job. So here is a list of things to avoid asking and saying in your next interview…
What does your company do?
Interviewers expect job applicants to have at least done some cursory research into what their organisation does and what the position entails. So asking this question will simply show that you’ve not bothered doing this and that you’ve turned up just hoping for the best.
If you don’t know what the firm does, how do you know whether or not what you are saying is relevant and meets the requirements on the job description?
I hated my last job
Even if you couldn’t stand your previous job and/or vehemently disliked your boss, don’t make this known in an interview. The panel will just perceive you to be someone who can’t work with others, is prone to complaining and doesn’t have a positive attitude to their work.
You might get asked why you left your last job, so instead of criticising, highlight the skills you’ve developed and the experiences you have gained. You can then discuss what aspects of the job you’ve applied for are appealing to you and how your professional experience fits in nicely.
How much will I get paid?
Job advertisements often give a rough salary, but even so, a surprising number of applicants will bring up the issue of money as soon as they’ve walked into the interview room. This can undermine anything you go on to say about your skills, experiences and life goals, as it simply makes you appear as someone who is motivated by cash and little else. Many firms operate with a set of values and are looking for someone who fits in with a culture and ethos – which means someone who looks greedy and avaricious might not be one of those people.
I’m desperate for this job
Desperation isn’t an attractive quality, particularly in job applicants, so don’t go begging for the role and giving sob stories to strengthen your case. If you’re making it known that you are happy to take anything that might come up, employers might question your commitment to both the role and the firm. As a result, they’ll shift their focus towards someone who seems more focused and dedicated.
You won’t find a better applicant than me
Desperation might be unappealing, but by the same token, overconfidence to the point of arrogance can also be a huge turn-off to interviewers. Apart from the fact it makes you thoroughly unlikeable and will make them question how you’ll fit in with the existing workforce, it’s impossible to back up lofty statements. So if you blunder in saying you’re the best person for the job and that they won’t find anyone better, you have no way of substantiating this. After all, how do you know how many people are chasing the same position and how qualified they are? You don’t.
What perks are on offer?
Many companies offer a package of benefits for workers, but wait until you’ve at least been offered a job before you bring up the subject. If you’re more interested in getting free gym membership and lots of holiday time, interviewers might have a good reason to wonder if you have a strong worth ethic. Just as with the salary question, these issues will have to get discussed at some point, but not in the interview. It’s not a time to find out what the recruiter can do for you – it’s your chance to let them know why you’re worth taking on.