Increase Your Chances of Getting a Job
Things not to say at a Job Interview.
Preparation is important for any interview. We think of all the things what we should say and do. We practice what we are going to say, anticipate the questions we are going to be asked and try to create an answer for every question. While doing this, it can be easy to forget the things we should not say during an interview. Sometimes, though, not saying something is just as vital as saying it. This article will look at 10 things not to say during a job interview.
It’s really simple: don’t tell lies. It’s so simple that you might raise an eyebrow, wondering why it’s even worth mentioning.
Don’t lie on your CV before the job interview, during the interview, or even after. If you make up an experience, previous employer or skill, then chances are that your new employer will find out the truth. And nobody wants to have someone in their company they cannot trust.
Even if they don’t find out, what’s the point? If you lie about a skill you need, you can’t magically learn it overnight. If you lie about a previous employer then you must continue the charade of having worked there. Lying is not worth the time or effort of your employer and it isn’t worth your own.
Don’t be late to an interview. Timekeeping is important for any job so establishing yourself as someone who can’t appear on time will reflect very badly.
Set an early alarm before your interview, have a good breakfast and a cup of coffee, and leave early, compensating for traffic.
If you are going to be late and it cannot be avoided, always call ahead. It will display a sense of trust between you and your employer.
When you attend an interview, you are there to prove your worth for a job. You’re not there to make friends (although hopefully you will if you get the job), nor are you there to find your next husband/wife.
At all times you should remain professional. Don’t tell an employer your life story outside what is relevant to the job, and don’t ask for theirs. This means no asking where their children go to school, or where they bought their cute new blouse, and it definitely means no stories beginning “I was so hammered…”
Acting like you know someone can come across as creepy, a skill no employer seeks.
At the end of most interviews, the interviewer will ask if you have any final questions. It’s very easy to shake your head and end the meeting. This is the time to really show your worth to an employer.
When you ask a final question you are interested and engaged. It allows you to show off. Furthermore, it gives you an opportunity to find something out which has not been covered during the course of the interview itself.
Struggling to think of some final questions? Here are a few generic ones (if using them, be sure to shape them to your own personal interview):
- What are the future plans for the company?
- Will there be any training opportunities available in this role?
- What are the team who I’ll be working with like?
It’s understandable that you don’t want to appear weak during an interview. You don’t want to have faults and lose your chance at a job. But you’re not Superman. Everyone has faults. Saying that you don’t have any faults, or that your only fault is working too hard, is clichéd and cocky.
When a manager asks what your weaknesses are, look at it as an opportunity. They don’t simply want a list of everything you cannot do. They want to know the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them. It’s not just about weakness, but about becoming stronger. For example, someone afraid of public speaking might enroll in a spoken word poetry class.
Sickness, Pay & Holiday Planning:
It will look bad if you haven’t even joined the company and already you’re looking to take time off. It could reflect as lazy or as though you don’t care about doing the job itself. These are two things an employer will not tolerate.
If you do have an unavoidable appointment (and I mean unavoidable, such as at the hospital) then it is best to make an employer aware of this, especially if it will impact upon your schedule or ability to work.
Before an interview, devote some preparation time to actually researching the company you have applied for. You will not be able to learn everything but Wikipedia is a good start. Learn simple facts like what the company does, who it was founded by, and when, as well as any company motto or values. Chances are that you will be asked something along the lines of the company values and, if not, it is a golden opportunity to integrate these into your post-interview questions.
Bad Words on Previous Employers:
Even if your last employer was the worst person in the world, you should not carry those judgments to your next place of employment. Not only will you be depending on this previous employer for a reference but bad mouthing an employer is incredibly unprofessional. It sets you up as confrontational, and having a bad attitude. Nobody wants to work with someone who has those qualities.
Unfortunately, none of us have all the answers. And we can’t pretend to. Sometimes a question will crop up during an interview which you find difficult.
Attempting to answer all questions, especially difficult ones, displays your ability to think quickly, and react.
To prepare for an interview fully, know all of your skills, employers and experiences, and be able to relate those to the job for which you have applied.
Overused Phrases, Buzzwords & Clichés:
The main problem with these is how vague they are. The best interviews are ones which hone in on experience and your abilities. Therefore, the best combatant for a cliché is to break down what the cliché means and, instead of using it, talk about an experience which represents it. Below is a short list of overused phrases, followed by an idea of what to say instead:
- “I’m highly qualified”. – How are you highly qualified? Which qualifications do you have? How do they relate to the position you have applied for?
- “I’m a team player”. – What experiences do you have working with people? Have you ever managed a group before?
- “I’m a problem solver”. – Think of a problem you were faced with. How did you overcome this?
There are more, but these are a good starting point for abandoning clichés.