One sentence. That’s all it takes to derail your chances at the dream job you’ve been pining after for months – maybe even years. Employers focus on why they should hire you, but they’re really looking for reasons not to hire you. Read on to find out seven things you need to keep in the vault while interviewing.
- “I’m really nervous.”
While it may be true, announcing that you are nervous to a hiring manager or committee kills your chances at getting the job. Honesty is great, but not in this context. No one wants to hire someone who lacks confidence. Why draw attention to shortcomings?
- “Like, um, ya know…”
You might not possess the skills of a polished presenter, but using an abundance of filler words makes you seem unintelligent, unclear, and insecure. These are not the qualities employers look for in a candidate.
- “No. I don’t have any questions.”
You might as well pack up your stuff and leave now. Not asking questions makes you seem unprepared. And even worse, it can lead the interviewer to believe that you are uninterested in the job and company. It’s best to ask three to five questions at most. You don’t want to annoy them with 20 questions, but you certainly need to ask a few.
Your interview is a time to speak about your qualifications, but real savvy interviewees know it’s best to talk about the needs of the company, and how you are the person to fill those needs. If you find yourself repeating, “I need” over and over, you’re probably focusing exclusively on your needs when you should be focusing on the needs of the company.
- “I’d rather not answer that.”
If their inquiry is illegal then this response is okay. Withholding information is a huge red flag that you’re hiding something. You need to prepare reasonable answers to difficult questions and be sure to answer them all.
- “F&%#, Sh*!”
Cursing in the workplace is common at many organizations. But you’re not a member of the organization yet. If you curse during your interview, you’ll probably never be a member of that organization. Again, sailor talk isn’t all-bad. Some studies show that people who use colorful language are more honest. But, it’s a big no-no during an interview. There is no benefit and the downside is enormous. You risk coming off as unprofessional and offensive.
- “The perks are awesome!”
The perks may be awesome, but you won’t have to worry about them because you’ve just blurted yourself out of the job. Talking about the free car washes, unlimited snacks in the kitchen, and casual Fridays makes you seem like you don’t care about the job, only the benefits. If you really want the perks – don’t talk about the perks.