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Landing an interview is a significant accomplishment after months of job searching. The hard work of polishing your resume, and online reputation, and compiling a portfolio of your best work is done. You’ve even splurged on a nice suit, and you’re ready to make a great first impression. But even with the best preparation, it’s easy to let a few ill-chosen words ruin your chances of success.
To ensure that you put your best foot forward during your interview, it’s essential to avoid certain things. Saying the wrong thing can make you come across as unprofessional, uninformed, or uninterested in the job. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five things that you should never say to a potential employer. From avoiding salary discussions to steering clear of negative comments about previous employers, our guide will help you make the best impression possible and land the job of your dreams. So, take a deep breath, relax, and read on to ensure you ace your next interview!
Things to Avoid Saying in an Interview
- Don’t ask about salary or benefits too soon
- Don’t speak negatively about a previous employer
- Don’t lie about your qualifications or experience
- Don’t use profanity or inappropriate language
- Don’t appear disinterested or unenthusiastic about the job
- Don’t ask questions that could easily be answered by researching the company
- Don’t reveal personal information that’s not related to the job
- Don’t make demands or requests that seem entitled
- Don’t talk about politics, religion, or controversial topics
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer or talk excessively about yourself.
I Really Need a Job
We all need a job, especially when we are unemployed, but saying you really need a job is not a good start. It implies that you need money, you will do anything, and you will work for cheap. No one wants to hire a desperate person. You should be offering reasons why you would be a valuable asset to the company, not whining about your bad luck or thinking that you can guilt-trip them into hiring you (you can’t).
How Long Are Lunch Breaks?
Any question that focuses on you (what time can I leave?, Do I get a discount?, etc.) is not a good question (take a look at 6 Weird Job Interview Questions). There will be time to ask questions about the benefits once you get the job offer. Asking questions such as this, as opposed to any number of legitimate queries about the company you’re hoping will hire you, makes you look petty. The employer is thinking—this is really all he/she is thinking about, the lunch break?Avoid ruining your next job interview by knowing what NOT to say. Check out these 5 interview don'ts: #jobinterview #careertips #interviewtipsClick To Tweet
It’s best to keep certain personal habits to yourself during a job interview. Smoking or nail-biting, for example, can give an employer the wrong impression. Admitting to these habits could suggest that you’ll be taking excessive breaks or setting a bad example for coworkers. Even if you do have these habits, it’s best not to mention them during the interview. Instead, focus on highlighting your qualifications and how you can add value to the company. And if you are a smoker, be prepared to minimize or eliminate your smoke breaks, and take steps to control the smell on your clothing and breath.
My Last Boss and I Didn’t Get Along
Avoid talking about past failures in general, especially as they relate to previous jobs. You should also refrain from speaking poorly about your current company, boss, or coworkers. Your new potential employer doesn’t want to get nervous about you during the interview. You should be highlighting your upsides, not talking about your possible downsides. If you got laid off or fired from a previous job, only discuss it if the story relates to an issue of professionalism or procedure that will make you look knowledgeable.
I Can’t Start Until Next Month
It’s best not to mention any scheduling conflicts or availability concerns during the interview process. Wait until you receive a job offer to discuss any upcoming vacations or need to give notice. Employers may have different start-date expectations, and discussing availability too soon could potentially harm your chances of being hired. If you’re not ready to start working immediately, it’s best to avoid the interview altogether.
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It’s no secret that job interviews are nerve-wracking, especially if you feel the position is a much-needed stepping stone into a fulfilling product management career. Take a look at CareerAlley's interview resources to improve your interview skills and nail your next interview.