For many job applicants, the actual job interview can make them very nervous. After all, the interview is your chance to impress a potential employer and land the job you want. First impressions are very important.
However, with a little practice and some preparation, the job interview need not be a scary process. It can even be fun. The company wants to learn about you, your skills and your personality. And, this is your chance to get to know more about the company, to decide if you want to work there.
During the interview, you want to present the most professional appearance possible. Employers know that there are some questions they should not ask potential employees, and there are some questions that it is illegal to ask an employee or potential employee.
There are also several things that you should not say during a job interview. You want to put your best foot forward and impress the interviewer. Below are the top ten things that you should never say during a job interview. Doing so may ruin your chance of getting the job you want.
10 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview
1. How much will I get paid?
If you ask this question at the beginning of the interview, it can make it seem as if you are only interested in the money, not the job itself. It is up to the interviewer to bring up the subject of salary. Sometimes it will take two or more interviews until the company feels that you may be the right match for the job, and that is when they will begin to discuss salary.
If you are asked how much you expect in salary, be prepared and have a range of pay in mind. Do not name a specific amount of money, but give a range that you are comfortable with. Make sure your range is realistic for pay scales in your area.
2. What does your company do?
Before going in for a job interview, it is important that you have done some research on the company. You can find information on companies at a local library, on the internet and in magazines and newspapers. If you can find a copy of the company’s Annual Report, you will find out much of the background information that you need about the company. Go to the interview prepared.
3. Do not use slang or phrases during your job interview.
Employers want to know that employees can present a professional image. A large part of image is how you speak. Remember that a job interview is very different from hanging out with friends. A job interview is a professional situation, not casual conversation. If you want to be taken seriously, it is important to speak professionally too.
4. What kind of benefits such as vacations and bonuses will I get?
During your first interview with a company, they want to know what you have to offer them. If the interviewer asks you about your skills and abilities, stress how you can contribute to the company and its goals. Be ready to tell the interviewer specific ways that you were an asset to your previous employer.
Do not ask about the benefits the company has to offer until the interviewer brings up the subject. Employers want employees who are interested in the job and the company, not just employees who are there to only collect a paycheck.
5. Do not curse or use profanity.
Never use profanity of swear during an interview. Employers need to know that employees can demonstrate professional behavior at all times. If you curse during an interview, you may well lose your chances for the job.
6. Do not use stereotypical language.
Be very careful not to use stereotypical language. This includes referring to people of other races, nationalities, genders, handicaps or sexual orientation in terms that are derogatory in any way.
7. Be careful not to criticize your former employers.
Even if you left a previous job, be careful not to criticize the company or your boss during a job interview. If you left because of problems at your former workplace, explain that you had a difference of opinion with your employer or with work styles. You do not need to go into specific details about why you left a job. Keep it short.
8. When asked if you have any questions during the interview, do not just reply “no.”
After the interviewer has asked you their questions, they will ask you if you have any questions for them about the position or the company. If you immediately say no, the interviewer may feel that you are not very interested in the position. When you are researching the company before the interview, try to find at least three questions that you would like to have answered during the interview.
When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, this is not the time to bring up salary or benefits. Always wait until they bring the subject up. Instead, you can ask to clarify anything that was discussed during the interview. Or, you can ask about plans for new products or services that are planned, if that is applicable. Show your interest in the company and the position.
9. If asked about your weaknesses, do not say that you have none.
Employers often ask what your weaknesses are during the interview. They want you to be honest. If you say that you don’t have any, the interviewer may think that you are trying to cover up something, or that you are not really thinking.
One way to turn this particular question around is to talk about a “positive” weakness you may have. For instance, if you don’t like to spend time in small talk with coworkers and would rather get your work done on time, mention this. You can add that you are working on being more friendly and interactive with coworkers.
10. Don’t give your life story during an interview.
Employers want to learn about you, but they do not need to know your entire life story. They want to hear about where you went to school, your past employment history and any relevant skills or talents that you have. If you have hobbies, you can mention these, but there is no need to go into great detail about them.
Do not bring up personal problems or medical issues during a job interview. Employers do not need to know about personal problems that you have faced, or currently dealing with.
Technically, employers are not supposed to ask about your race, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or medical conditions. Until you are hired, an employer is not supposed to even ask you if you are married, have children or are planning to have children.
Before going in for a job interview, go over this list to make sure that you are fully prepared for the interview. You want to always put your best foot forward during the job interview, so you need to make sure you do not commit any of these errors that can knock you out of the running. Keep these top ten things that you should never say during a job interview in mind when you are preparing for the interview.