The most nerve-wracking part of any job search process is the interview. Sometimes it feels like everyone in the world wants the same job you do. You need to stand out and make an impression on the interviewer, but for the right reasons.
With that in mind, here are six things you should never say in an interview:
Yes, you may be leaving your previous job because you didn’t have the best boss or because the environment was toxic. However, when you are interviewing for a new job you should never talk badly about your current or previous place of employment. A negative attitude may make you appear snooty and unlikeable.
The interviewer will wonder if you will say bad things about them too if you are hired. No matter what happened in your previous employment, keep a positive attitude. If you are asked to explain why you left a previous position, do so in a respectful and constrained manner. Practice what you are going to say beforehand. Chances are your interviewer will understand and be impressed by your professionalism.
More than ever before, interviewers are hearing from potential employees that they are leaving or have left their previous job because they didn’t feel challenged enough. For some reason individuals think this phrase makes them sound like a hard worker. In fact, it is one of the last things an interviewer wants to hear. He or she may wonder if you will get bored and quit after a few months because you are not feeling “challenged” enough. Even if you are truly feeling your potential is being wasted, keep in mind that business leaders are looking for individuals who can challenge themselves and create solutions, not problems.
If the reason you weren’t being challenged enough is because there was no room for advancement and you had reached the highest level of responsibility, then it is okay to say that “there was no room for growth or advancement at my previous job.”
If you ask this question in your interview, I guarantee that you will not get the job. If you don’t know much about the company you are interviewing with, then you should do your research and find out everything you can before your interview. Not only will this help you look more informed, but it can also help you come up with meaningful questions that will help you engage in good conversation with the interviewer.
A typical interview lasts about 30 minutes and it goes by fast. This is all the time you have to impress the interviewer and you don’t want to waste your time by answering every question with a monologue. No interviewer wants to listen to long, drawn-out answers that take ages to get to the point. Keep your answers focused and to the point. If you go off on long tangents you risk losing your train of thought and failing to answer the question altogether. Stay focused by sticking to the STAR analogy. This means focusing on the situation, task, action and result. Remember that the result is the most important point and the part the interview wants to hear the most.
Everyone loves going on vacation, which we all should because vacations are great! However, asking about the vacation policy and listing the days you need off during your interview is a big DON’T. Business owners don’t want to hire someone who is already thinking about their next break. They want to hire someone who is a hard worker and will be dedicated to the job. Bringing up the vacation policy before you even get the job does not show your dedication.
A popular question asked during the interview is, “what do you consider to be your greatest weakness?” This question is difficult to answer and can be very telling. Please, whatever you do, do not answer with some cop out remark like, “My greatest weakness is that I work too hard” or “My greatest weakness is that I am too organized.” Yes, people actually say this.
Show the interviewer that you are self-aware and know your weaknesses. Be careful. You don’t want to showcase your weaknesses in a way that kills your chance of getting the job. Mention your weakness and then explain how you are overcoming that weakness and turning it into a strength. This will show the interviewer that you are aware of your shortcomings and are constantly improving them.
In any interview, there is always the concern that you will say or do the wrong thing. Take the pressure off by avoiding the above mistakes and you will be well on your way to impressing the interviewer and getting that job.
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As a writer at Built for Teams HR, Micaiah specializes in providing tips and advice for new hires, managers and HR professionals. Built for Teams was created by the developers at Objective App Development in Salt Lake City, Utah. Though she loves to write, Micaiah also loves reading a good book and spending quality time with her family.