Finding a job in this economy is hard enough, let alone trying to figure out how to ace an interview. Interviewing is just like an (almost) blind date, but with no romantic first kiss at the end. Oh — and the interviewer isn’t paying for your meal. It’s usually a bit uncomfortable and awkward and there’s a lot of uncertainty. But, the good news is that it’s all worth it when you find that perfect job. How do you get this perfect job though? It’s easier said than done.
You have to work at being a good interviewee. And practice really does make perfect. Study up on the job you are applying for, research all of the questions you think the hiring manager might ask you, and then practice like there’s no tomorrow — or no job tomorrow. However, even with all the practice in the world, it’s hard to know the right things to say and the very, oh so bad, wrong things. Especially when you’re anxious, you can find yourself over-speaking and saying things you wish you could take back.
So, think before you speak and make sure to never say these things if you’re looking to get hired.
1. “Sorry I'm late."
It should go without saying to never be late to an interview. Take it from a girl who is always a good 5 to 10 minutes late to everything — I still show up on-time or early if I want a job. Life happens. Maybe you couldn’t find your car keys, there was an accident on the freeway or you spilt coffee all over your shirt. Give yourself extra time just in case these time-suckers accidentally happen.
2. Negative Comments About Previous Job(s)
Just like a first date, you’re not going to go on and on about how horrible your exes are. Same goes for an interview. You shouldn’t bash your old boss if you want the person interviewing you to be your new boss. He or she is going to just think you’ll do the same to him or her. Saying negative comments about previous jobs you’ve had is only going to make you look like a bitter old man/woman.
During a job interview, you will want to give a lot of information about yourself so the interviewer gets a good sense of you. However, don’t run with that. Giving TMI will certainly scare of the person you are speaking with. They don’t want to hear about that horrible breakup you just went through, or that one time you went to rehab. Save those stories for a drunken night out with the ladies/fellas.
4. Curse Words
Listen, I’m a fan of using cursing here and there as much as the next person. But your interviewer may not be. If you’ve naturally got a potty-mouth, try to flush it before you head into your interview. Cursing is more appropriate out of the office.
You know you’ve heard the no politics and religion talk for a first date. Well, this also applies to a job interview. You have no idea where your interviewer stands on these topics, so don’t even go there. If you don’t have anything nice to say (about politics or religion), then don’t say anything at all.
6. Statements That Appear Desperate
Even if you want this job so very badly, and you’ll do anything in the world to get it — you don’t want to come across as desperate. By making certain comments like, “I’ve been searching for a job forever and I need to get this one” or, “I don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t get this job,” you don’t appear confident anymore. The less said, the more confident you’ll appear. You want to sound like you’re eager for the position, but not eager enough you’ll sell your soul for it.
7. “No, I don’t have any questions."
When that time come around and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” the worst thing you can do is say, “No.” Come with a prepared list of a couple questions. This will make you seem interested in the position and the company, as well as it will show initiative. Silence here is the deadliest offender.
8. Too Many Questions About Salary
I get it; you want to make those dollar dollar bills. And, you don’t want to be wasting your time. However, money is an uncomfortable topic and a fine line to walk. You need to be straightforward about what you’re looking for, but at the same time, not looking too focused on the salary instead of the position. Make sure you discuss what they are offering, but don’t go on and on about the salary.