The questions in a job interview may cover many topics, not just the job qualifications. This is mainly because the interviewer can get an idea of how the candidate handles unexpected topics. It is also possible that the candidate and interviewer have a good rapport and talk about a mutual interest for a few minutes. This doesn’t mean the candidate can treat the interviewer like an old friend. The candidate must remember at all times that they are being judged and must act accordingly.
Some of the things never to say during a job interview are:
1. Common lingo – Words that may be commonly used in conversation are not necessarily suitable for a formal occasion and may not reflect well on the user. These words include the usual four-letter words, retarded, stoned, like, um, drunk, boring, gay, whatever and stuff.
2. Personal praise – While the candidate wants to present his or her best characteristics, they shouldn’t use self-praise such as:
- I know more than you about that subject
- I got straight As in college
- I’m a perfectionist
- I’m not aware of any personal weaknesses
Their accomplishments will be on their resume, and they should only offer this information if they are asked.
3. Trashing their previous job – When an interviewer hears a candidate trash their previous job, they immediately think that this person will trash this company in the future if we give him or her the job. Some things a candidate should not say in the interview are:
- I hate my current job
- My boss is horrible
- My current company is hopeless
4. Express selfishness – The candidate should focus on showing what they have to offer the company and not on what they can get. Some things not to say are:
- What is the salary and benefit package
- When do I get a vacation
- I need to be somewhere soon, will this take long
- Can I date co-workers
- Do you offer free drinks at office parties
5. Personal problems – The job interview is not the place to express personal problems. The interviewer is not interested in the candidate’s personal issues yet. If the job is offered, there may be a point when personal problems can be discussed. The candidate should not express:
- I need child care
- I don’t have a car yet
- Can I work from home
- I really need this job because I’m a single parent
6. What is the job being offered – Candidates should research the company and understand what it does and what the job for which they are interviewing entails. They should not ask the interviewer things about the job that they could have learned from the job description or from reading about the company on its website. If the candidate knows facts about the job and company, it shows the interviewer that he or she is sincere about wanting the position and prepared for the interview. However, the candidate should not say they have no questions. This may show lack of interest and arrogance. The candidate should have a few good questions ready in the event the interviewer asks.
7. I’m nervous – If the candidate is nervous, which is normal, it will not help them to tell the interviewer about it. It looks like a lack of confidence in the candidate’s own abilities. A question that also appears like a lack of confidence is to ask the interviewer how am I doing. The reason the candidate needs to avoid giving the impression that he or she doesn’t have confidence is because this usually means the person is inefficient. Employers will always look for candidates who are self-assured and display strength.
The best way for a candidate to make a good impression on an employer is to always remember that the aim of the interview is to see what the candidate can do for the company, and not the other way around.