Top 5 Things You Don’t Want to Say in a Job Interview
When you find yourself doing an interview for a job that you really want, there is a considerable amount of preparation that you have to put in. You have to put your best foot forward during a job interview to give the hiring manager the impression that you are indeed the best candidate for the job. While most other experts and blogs out there will tell you all the things you can do right, we are here to tell you about the handful of things you should never ever do. Because, if by some mishap you do blurt out any one of the below statements when you’re across the table from an employer, you can rest assured that you will not be landing that job any time soon.
Having said that, in this article, we will be talking about the top 5 most dangerous statements that can tank a job interview. We will also be looking at how you can work your way around these situations when faced with these scenarios. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
1. Negative Remarks About Your Previous Employer
One of the most commonly asked and poorly answered questions in interviews is: “So, why are you looking for a new job?” Oftentimes, candidates might say that they didn’t like the work culture, management or job role itself. At the end of the day, you are entitled to feel how you want to feel, but the interviewer doesn’t need to know that!
The best way to navigate this question is to avoid saying anything negative about your previous or current employer. For one, it shows your ability to remain professional, even in less than ideal situations.
It is also an indication of what you will say about their company after you join. What you want to do is shift the focus to the position you’re applying for and the opportunities that it offers, which your previous employer might not have been able to provide.
2. "I Don’t Know."
At some point in every interview, you will be thrown a curveball, a challenge to help them gain insight into your level of knowledge. Chances are you might not have prepared for that, because let’s be honest, you can’t prepare for every single question. However, this is a good thing! It is a great opportunity for you to prove your critical thinking skills and communication abilities.
If you need a minute to think about it, be honest and tell them that. Ask them if you can circle back to that question.
Having said that, the last thing you want to say is, “I don’t know.” That tells them that you are not even interested in trying, and that automatically lands as a mark against you.
3. "Tell Us About Yourself."
When faced with this question, candidates often fall back on answers such as “I am results-oriented.” or “I am highly organized.” While it may seem like a good idea to convey traits they are looking for in a potential hire, you need to go about it in a better way. For one, just telling someone that you are something does absolutely nothing. Instead, you can express your characteristics through context.
Use examples of projects you have worked on, things you have accomplished and built over your career to convey traits of leadership, organizational skills, industry knowledge, and so on.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky, Canadian Ice Hockey Player
4. "I Don’t Have Any Questions."
At the end of an interview, it is more than likely that the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them. It may seem like an insignificant question, but it carries a lot of weight behind it.
If you say that you don’t have any questions, then they might view it as a lack of interest, a lack of knowledge of the company, or a combination of both. Throughout the interview, you would have picked up on details about the company or the job.
Ask them more about the role, the work culture, their mission, and so on. However, the best course of action to prepare for this scenario is to buckle down and do some research on the company before the interview date.
5. "Tell Me About the Company"
While you want to make sure that you ask them questions at the end of the interview, you also want to ensure that you don’t ask them: “What does your company do?” It may seem harmless enough, but it immediately informs the interviewer that you haven’t prepared for the interview in any way. It shows them that there is a serious lack of research on your part, which can be grounds for disqualification from the recruitment process.
There is no harm in asking them about the company, but you should do so based on research you have already done. For example, if you read about their mission and vision, you might want to dig a little deeper into that. Questions like, “Why has the company made it its mission to do this?” or “What is the end goal for the business based on the vision of the business?”
At the end of the day, you want to convey three things: interest, knowledge, and communication skills. Show your potential employer that you are genuinely interested in the role by going the distance and doing a little homework on the company. The last thing any company wants to do is hire an employee that is not interested in the work being done, because they know it won’t be long before the candidate loses interest and moves onto the next job.
When that happens, the company has to go back on the hunt to fill the spot. This can be a time-consuming and budget-heavy process that most businesses want to try and avoid, if at all possible. So, there you have it, the top 5 things you want to avoid in a job interview if you want to make the most of it.