The interview is easily the most difficult part of the job search process, but its a necessary one. You’re basically setting up a time to be judged by a stranger and we totally get how intimidating that can be. Interviewing is a balance of honesty and likability, you want to be honest about your work history but also want to make sure that the interview hears what they are looking for. You certainly don’t want to blurt out something inappropriate to ruin your chances! Whatever you do, don’t say;
1. I’m really nervous.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling nervous, but you definitely don’t want to tell your interviewer that. During an interview you want to put your best foot forward by seeming confident, and portraying a professional demeanor. Saying you’re nervous can sometimes be seen as an excuse for something that could go wrong during your interview. Don’t make excuses for yourself, you should have it in your head that you’re going to do great!
2. I don’t really know much about the job.
This is a BIG no-no. Research the position and the company before you show up to the interview. One of the most common interview questions is “what can you tell me about our company, or our CEO?” It’s pretty basic, know what job you are applying for and details about the responsibilities not only to tailor your answers to fit what they are looking for but because they will assume you aren’t that into it if you don’t
3. My last boss was a real jerk.
The interviewer has asked you this question to test you. They could be your potential boss and they want to know how you would treat them if you were to ever leave. Even if your last boss was a real jerk, I wouldn’t say so. It’s never a good idea to bad mouth anyone. Think about past work environments in which you overcame a difference in work ethic, or how you handled a difficult situation with a coworker well. Always be positive!
4. My biggest weakness is ______. (something related to the position)
You never want to get in the way of showing the interviewer that you can complete the job well. If you say that you can’t get along well with others and the job requires tons of teamwork and is sales related, you probably just put your foot in your mouth. Choose a weakness that is not related to one of the responsibilities/personality traits related to the job and talk about how you overcame that weakness and continue to do so.
Yeah, swearing probably isn’t a good idea. We know that some words might just be included in your vocabulary but you need to get into the habit of censoring yourself. This is the time to demonstrate how polite you are, not that you are a part-time sailor!
6. Can you hold on one second? My phone is ringing.
The interviewer probably has other things to do in their day besides wait around for you to tell your mom you want ham instead of salami for lunch today. Even if you had all the right answers to every question it is rude to answer your phone during an interview and most likely they won’t be forgetting you did. Turn your phone completely OFF during an interview.
7. How much vacation would I get and when would I get raises?
That’s assuming you get hired AND assuming you do an amazing job right off the bat, pretty cocky don’t you think? Also asking for vacation sends them a vibe that you’re already thinking of time off instead of being excited about the job you’ll be doing. Most likely, you won’t be doing this particular job with that attitude.
8. Can I work from home?
Even if this is an option, now is really not the time to ask.
9. Family is SO important to me.
Yes, it’s important to us too, and we do want honest answers from you. However, make sure that you are making yourself seem as though you are devoted to the job too. Better yet, BE devoted to doing a good job at work!
When in doubt, pause and think about how each answer would sound!