Between the “Tell us about a time when” behavioral based questions and the “hopefully they don’t think my shirt is too tight” thoughts, we all can agree that interviews are nerve-wracking. We’ve all been grilled in the hopes of obtaining a new position, and all though nervousness can be apparent, there are certain things you should never say in an interview. Saying the wrong things can cast a negative light on the entire interview and encourage the employer to put your resume to the side when decisions are made. The list below details why certain things are better left unsaid:
1. “What does your company do?”
Always do your research! Chances are, the interviewer has found you online and knows what you put on your application or resume, so you should know more than the name of the company. Explore the company’s website and make notes of important points to bring up in your answers.
2. “How much does this job pay?”
Asking about the pay rate of a job you haven’t secured yet isn’t a smart idea. It may indicate that you’re only interested in the job for the pay and that you won’t put your all into your work. Don’t downplay a job that you don’t have yet.
3. “I hated my previous job/manager.”
Instead of expressing how much you and your past manager bumped heads, explain what you learned from the position and how you plan to work through any disagreements in the workplace.
4. “I’m not aware of any of my weaknesses.”
Everyone has a weakness. Employers don’t expect you to be perfect but they expect you to be able to pinpoint a problem, and try your best to solve it. Although you should be able to explain a weakness, be careful what you say. Saying “I’m always late” equates to “I will never take the time to be punctual because deep down I don’t care enough.”
5. “Can I work from home?” And “How many vacation days do I get?”
Questions like these will be answered after you have secured the job. Asking these questions has the same effect of “how much does this job pay?”
6. Anything like “This is an important call, I need to take this.” or “Sorry I’m late.”
You never want employers to think that the interview isn’t an important obligation to you. Be confident and be professional. Interviewers won’t hire someone who doesn’t take anything seriously.
7. “I don’t know.”
I’m guilty of stumbling over my words to create an answer, but not having an answer at all says you’re unprepared and that you can’t think on your feet. Do your research beforehand and try to at least be able to relate the answer to some information you can speak about.
8. “I don’t have any questions.”
Similar to “I don’t know,” you should have something prepared, and be able to ask something. Some good questions to ask are:
- Can you tell me about a typical day in this position?
- What is your favorite thing about working for the company?
- What have past employees done to succeed in this position?
The questions you ask say a lot about your interest in the position, your knowledge of the industry, and your ability to get things done.
Interviewers know you’re nervous and the best thing to do is play the part and be sure of yourself. As a Bauce, put your best foot forward, look the part, speak confidently, and hope for the best. You got this.