We are so busy that we often forget to really get ready for a job interview. We walk into a job interview with no preparation and hope for the best. We spend more time in what shirt we should wear or what color of shoes would suit our blouse. Worst of all, we believe an interview is intended for us to simply answer the questions that the interviewer gives us.
One thing you need to prepare for is what not to say during an interview. Even if you honestly answer all of the interviewer’s questions, should you utter even one of those mentioned below, you can kiss your chances of landing that job goodbye.
“Uh, uh…I just sort of… uh… and like… uh… yeah, uh…”
If you ramble, you lose. Think back to your college days and picture how your teacher reacted when a student gave a 5-minute rambling answer that led nowhere. Now imagine you doing this during a job interview. Interviewers sometimes use the unconscious method of the “Airport Test,” that is, will the interviewer ever want to be stuck in an airport with this person? Like it or not, we’re evaluated on our personality as well as our skills.
“Yes, I helped out with that project, but it was really a team effort”
Humility is a great trait, but going out of your way to be self-deprecating is an interview turn-off. So you’re saying you were only a minimal factor when sales went up by 40% in one month? In truth, your interviewer doesn’t care about your team dynamics or organizational chart. He wants to know what you did. He wants to know how YOU did it. If you keep downplaying your accomplishments, how is a hiring manager supposed to value you enough to hire you?
“My last boss was a boss from hell”
We’ve all been through bosses from hell, but an interview is not the place to discuss your war stories. Instead of talking about your boss, talk about your achievements in that company, about how your team worked, and other things about your co-workers.
“I have a problem saying no to responsibility”
Interviewers often ask, “What’s your biggest weakness?” Now this one is a trick question and when you give the generic response of, “I work too hard” or “I have a problem saying no to responsibility,” interviewers have already heard this from a hundred other applicants. What interviewers are looking for is someone who will acknowledge a weakness or fault that the applicant has taken time to correct. Explain what a real weakness you have and how you’ve worked to fix it.
“I made 30K from my last job. I’m now looking for 40K. But, I’m willing to compromise at 35K.”
Your interviewer will always want to know how much you made at your last job, but only when they ask you. When you initiate the salary discussion, you immediately become a turn-off to interviewers. If they ask the salary question, then answer, if not, then don’t say anything about it. If they really want you, they’ll make you an offer, and the negotiations can begin from there.