Do NOT Say These Things in an Interview

John Krautzel
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Job interviews can be an advantage or your downfall. Speaking directly with a hiring manager gives you the chance to sell your personality, but one wrong move may end your candidacy. Recruiters picked your resume from the pile for a reason, and the job interview should support the strong value proposition presented in your application. If you don't want to be sidelined for a simple mistake, keep these careless statements out of the conversation.

1. What Does This Company Do?

Showing up without any knowledge of the company is a red flag that you aren't prepared or qualified for the job. Information about most businesses is readily available on the internet, and serious candidates try to avoid a poor fit by researching the company culture, mission and services before applying. Hiring managers want candidates who understand the employer's needs and can quickly adapt to the role with minimal guidance. Avoid basic questions that depict you as a novice, and ask about the specifics of the job, such as the short-term and long-term expectations for the position.

2. I Don't Have Questions

Asking questions might seem pointless when the hiring manager provides thorough information throughout the job interview. However, if you don't show interest, employers assume you're looking for any job and don't care about the company's distinct qualities. Avoid questions you can easily answer with basic research, and generate a list of thoughtful topics by considering the responsibilities and challenges you're likely to face the first day, week and month on the job.

3. I Need to Take This Call

No matter how politely you excuse yourself, it is inappropriate to interrupt a job interview for anything but a family or medical emergency. Hiring managers want to have your full attention, and they can't trust you to make good decisions well at work if you show poor judgment in the job interview. Take care of any hygiene or restroom needs in advance, and keep your phone muted and tucked away from the moment you arrive. Schedule phone interviews when you're least likely to be disturbed, and let friends or clients know you're temporarily unavailable.

4. I Hate My Past/Current Job

No recruiter wants to hire difficult employees who create problems and slow down productivity. Badmouthing another job or employer is a red flag that you're a troublemaker who complains and blames others, instead of solving problems. You don't want hiring managers to question your ability to work well with the team, so tackle sensitive subjects with honesty and tact. If the issue can't be avoided, focus on how a conflict helped you learn or refine your strengths and goals.

5. What Salary/Benefits Do You Offer?

Reputable employers value your skills and experience, but discussing the compensation package too soon sends the message that salary is your top priority. Many hiring managers are reluctant to recruit money-focused candidates, as their loyalty and work ethic may wane without constant incentives. Focus on the benefits you can bring to the team, and address your salary requirements when all parties are ready to move forward with an offer.

Competing for a job is tough without adding self-sabotage to your list of obstacles. Approach the job interview with a conservative mindset to avoid losing out on a great opportunity.

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    Noreen - one question I like to know the answer to is "How did this position I'm interviewing for come about?" The answer will tell about the company - growth, internal promotions, etc.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Noreen thanks for your question. There are no set questions to ask at the interview. However, if you did an Internet search on that very question you would be inundated with results. You could scroll through them and see what others have asked. But honestly - only you know what questions need to be asked depending upon the interview. What do you want to know about the company that your research on them has not turned up? What do you need to know about the position that has not been covered during the interview? Have you asked what the next steps are if that has not already been covered? See - it depends is the best answer I can offer as every interview is different.

  • jagjit k.
    jagjit k.

    Helpful tips, If we can remember all.

  • Noreen L.
    Noreen L.

    What kind of questions are we supposed to ask when being interviewed?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Shirley thanks for your comment. So very true. You never know how that manager is going to be until you are working for him on a daily basis. However, I have found that, during an interview, if you pay attention, you will get to see some glimmers of his personality coming through. Watch facial expressions and listen to the tone of his voice. A bad leader will have a hard time hiding it. And, if you aren't really sure about this manager, try finding others who work for him and see if you can touch base with them. They may just give you the whole scoop on him. So true, though, if they are good at hiding it, you will never know until it hits you in the face - after you are hired. Then you have the choice of living with it or walking.

  • Shirley H.
    Shirley H.

    It's quite difficult when the leaders themselves have terrible records, and job seekers aren't aware of this until after the interview.

  • Mervin S.
    Mervin S.

    All good info.

  • Charles  H.
    Charles H.

    I never thought I might be saying the wrong things, great help.

  • Eric B.
    Eric B.

    Basic common sense.

  • rae  H.
    rae H.

    Good insight, as a recruiter, I agree.

  • Robert B.
    Robert B.

    great link to working on a interview!!

  • Gladys V.
    Gladys V.

    Thanks for the headsup. Very helpful tips.

  • Margaret M.
    Margaret M.

    Yes, the proposition of money should be not mentioned until the later part of the interview process and I agree. Unless the offer is put to you in the beginning of the interview, as to know how much you will be paid or if your still interested in the job with salary already laid out.

  • Suzanne S.
    Suzanne S.

    Good stuff.. Thanks for the insight...

  • EDWIN L.
    EDWIN L.

    I love it ,it make a lot sense thank you it helps

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