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For many of us, job interviews are the worst. Even those who are skilled interviewees, as in they've been to hundreds of interviews in their lifetime, it's not like they get any easier. You can become numb to them, if you try hard enough, but once you find yourself in the hot seat, trying to sell yourself to a company in the hopes that they'll really see just how much of an asset you are, all sense of confidence can go out the window.
But while there are questions, from a legal standpoint, that you should never, ever be asked by a company interviewer, there are also things that you should never say in an interview, as well, whether it's that your current boss is awful or that you don't have any questions for them. "I feel there are always positives to any position," Human Resources Director at Totally Promotion, Brad Stultz, tells Bustle. "And a little tact with responses can go a very long way."
So before you show up to your next interview, here are seven things you don't want to say.
"During an interview I had posed the question, 'Why do you want to work here?' The candidate responded, quite candidly, with 'I really don’t. I just need a job and figured you would do for now,'" says Stultz. "While I do appreciate a candidate’s candor, a statement such as this did not leave me feeling like they would be the best candidate for the job."
It's one thing to be honest, but it's a whole other thing to kill your chances at a getting job, especially since, as this candidate pointed out, you need a job.
As much as we all want to know how much we'll be making and how much vacation time will come with any position, bringing these up during an interview isn't your place. The person who's doing the interview will bring them up then, at that time, you can decide if those benefits will work for you or not. Just don't be the one to ask, because then you look like your priority is how much time you get away from the office as opposed to how much work you're willing to put in being a team player.
If at some point you're asked why you're leaving your current job, think before you answer. Even if you hate, like literally despise your current job, you should never say it. When you do, you leave the interviewer wondering exactly how long it will take before you hate this job, too.
Stultz suggests, if you're asked such a question, try responding with, “I have heard good things about the company," instead. This way you keep things polite, you don't immediately close out any opportunity to land the job, and you don't look like you're being petty.
Unless you've found the career of your dreams, many jobs are temporary while you wait for your big opportunity. Yes, it's great to have goals, ambition, and direction, but these aren't things you want to share with an interviewer. Ever. "Many times people use certain positions as stepping stones," says Stultz, "but it is bad form to share this during the interview process." Like, really bad form.
Do you have any idea how often interviewers are told by the person they're interviewing that they're a perfectionist ? A lot. Do you have any idea how often they believe it? Rarely. When you're asked what your strengths and weaknesses are, never say you're a perfectionist. It's the most transparent word that can fall out of your mouth during a job interview.
Similarly to telling the person who's interviewing you for a job that you hate the job you have, talking trash about your boss is a bad idea, too. Even if your boss is awful, you don't walk into a job interview and go off on a rant. As Stultz points out, it really is all about tact.
The worst of the worst that you can saying during a job interview? If when you're asked toward the end of the interview if you have any questions and you tell them you don't, it may look like you either didn't pay attention during the interview or that you don't care enough to inquire — both of which don't come off well at all. So come with some questions in mind ahead of time or anything they didn't answer during the interview.
Even the most seasoned interviewee can find themselves stumbling when face-to-face with someone who is ultimately going to decide the direction of their immediate future; that's totally normal. But while finding confidence during job interviews isn't exactly easy, as long as you avoid saying these seven things, then you're off to a good start.