Here’s 5 Things you shouldn’t say in an interview…
Picture the scene…
You’ve been running around for weeks, maybe even months doing everything you can to try and get yourself an interview for your dream job. You have given your CV a meticulous makeover, bought a brand new “I’d be amazing at this job” suit, practiced interview questions relentlessly, got yourself a great night’s sleep and then in one foul swoop you go and ruin your chances during the interview.
It’s truly a horrible feeling! The worst part is that quite often the mistake you have made has very little relevance to your ability to do the job well, however in today’s incredibly high pressured and competitive jobs market, it is just enough to swing the interviewers opinion in favour of someone else!
OK, so it’s not the end of the world if this happens, but it can be a huge disappointment and a significant blow to your confidence. We’ve put together a little list of some of the things you absolutely should not do in an interview to help you avoid shooting yourself in the foot.
1. Ask the question “How much does the role pay?”
Of course your interviewer will already know that you aren’t going to do the job out of the goodness of your heart but asking this question (either directly or otherwise) will suggest to them that the only reason you have applied for the job is money. It may well be the case that money is your main motivation, but by bringing up this subject before your interviewer does, you will project a poor image of what your attitude towards the work will be. To avoid this mishap make sure that you have a fair idea of how much the salary is likely to be before you apply and that way you can assess if it is appropriate for you.
2. Speak ill of your previous employer
Even though your last boss may have been a brainless, incompetent waste of space, by pointing this out, you are effectively saying to the interviewer “I have issues with authority”. That may well not be the case, but the interviewer has a very short time in which to assess your suitability within the organisation and may see your boss-bashing as a threat to the smooth and hassle free running of their business. As a rule, never say anything disparaging about your previous employer unless directly prompted by a question like “Is there anything you would have changed about your last employer?”- in which case you should come up with a few constructive criticisms and steer well clear of any personal issues you may have had with them.
3. Answer the question “What are your weaknesses?” with “I don’t have any”
That is simply not true, everyone has weaknesses and by giving this answer you are presenting 2 possible images of yourself to the employer 1) You are lying to make yourself look good and 2) You are too arrogant to see even the slightest room for improvement. Either way your interviewer will not be impressed. The point of them asking you this question is not to catch you out on something and prove to themselves that you are not the right person for the job, but to assess whether or not you have the ability to identify your own shortcomings and suggest ways in which you can improve in the future. Don’t however say something like “My problem is I am such a perfectionist” – a strength thinly veiled as a weakness is just a way of avoiding the question and your interviewer will see right through it!
4. Ask the question “What exactly does the job entail” or “What exactly does the company do?”
Of course your interviewer will understand if you do not know precisely what you will be expected to do every minute of every day whilst in the role, but they will at least expect you to have a fair idea. A question such as this will suggest that you have not done your research on the job or the business which in turn will suggest that you actually are not that bothered. In most interviews you will have the opportunity to ask questions of your interviewer, and whilst it is important to at least ask something, be careful that you don’t panic and ask something which will reflect badly on you.
5. Say something like “I am going to need (x y z) days off”
Say this and you might just get the answer “Well then i’m going hire someone else!”- demanding days off doesn’t exactly project a hardworking and dedicated picture of yourself. Before you apply for a role you should be sure that you will be able to complete the contracted hours. You will of course be entitled to holidays, so save these questions for a more appropriate time such as when you have begun the job. The case may be that the interviewer will ask you if you have any holidays planned in the near future – in this case it is fine to tell them- but do not demand they time off, they will more than likely be very accommodating!
Whilst its not 100% guaranteed that any of these things will lose you a prospective job, they certainly won’t help you to get it! Be sure to check some of our other great tips and advice articles on performing at your best in an interview!