Friday, September 25, 2009

What not to say at an interview

The Shine from Yahoo feature usually presents a wide variety of day to day living articles. On Yahoo's front page today was a link to this feature about what not to say on a job interview.

10 things never to say on a job interview
by The Foxy Life, on Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:31pm PDT

Job interviews... Most of us have been on a few (or more) and many consider them to be nerve-wracking (at best) and downright painful (at worst). We can't really tell you how to land the ideal job, but we can give you a few pointers on what to avoid. While it's important to let your personality shine through in an interview and to be sincere, it's not the right time to let it all hang out. Here, our list of top things to avoid uttering...

  • "I Need The Money..." Even if the fact that you only have $25 in your bank account is the reason you’re going back to work after a hiatus (traveling through Europe, raising the kids, laid off, etc.), don’t ever mention it. The interviewer doesn’t need to know you’re hard-up for cash. It may unintentionally sound like you’re there only to earn money and that you’re not really interested in working. The goal is to always show passion and enthusiasm for the company and the position you are being interviewed for.

  • "My Last Boss Was A Jerk..." Dissing your previous employer has no upside, no matter how awful he/she treated you. Even if he/she made "Ari Gold" on Entourage look like an angel, sharing the details can come off sounding rude and disrespectful to potential co-workers and those who are "higher up" on the food chain than you. So remember to ban the bad-mouthing.

  • "It’s Worse Than Being A Republican/Democrat..." It’s wise to remain neutral by keeping your political views to yourself. Even if you feel fairly certain that the interviewer (and company) share your perspective, this type of conversation can easily lead to major disagreements and conflict (unless, of course, you might be interviewing for a political job where this becomes very relevant).

  • "Thank The Lord..." It’s beautiful to have faith, but similar to discussing politics at work, religious statements, even innocuous ones, aren’t a good tactic during job interviews. They could possibly offend the person you’re meeting with, or cause them to see you in an inaccurate light.

  • "What The Hell.." While certain curse words seem to have become part of popular vernacular, they aren’t the right way to spice up your personal sales pitch. Keep your language clean as a whistle on job interviews. There’s never a good reason to use expletives to get your point and your passion across!

  • "My Kid’s Always Getting Sick..." Oftentimes, a mention of kids or family may come into the conversation and it’s always nice to give a little taste of your life outside of the office. But don’t take that too far. If you mention that your child is constantly getting sick, an employer may worry that you’ll be easily absent or distracted because of it. Similarly, if your spouse or child has a chronic condition that warrants attention, save it as a personal matter. Assume that you can do the job (if you’re hired) in the best possible way without letting things on the home front interrupt you – in which case, what happens in your private time is your private business.

  • "A 9-5 Schedule Is Best For Me..." No one wants to think they might be hiring a clock watcher or someone who’s going to be way too eager to race out the door at the stroke of 5pm. It’s not a good idea to mention that you have a class three evenings a week at 6pm either. The employer needs to feel that your job will be the main priority. Your schedule will evolve (and work best for you and the employer) once you’ve landed the gig.

  • "I’m Vegan..." Certain people may make false assumptions about your personality based on the fact that you’re a vegan, vegetarian, don’t eat wheat, soy, or any other type of food lifestyle you choose. It sounds silly, but find ways to let them know who you are without leaving yourself open to judgment.

  • "I Don’t Have Time To Read Much..." Whether it’s newspapers, magazines, the web, or books, reading is generally seen as something that increases intelligence and breadth of knowledge. You should also make it a point to do your reading homework and learn as much as possible about the employer you are meeting with. It can easily impress an interviewer when you’re up to date on current events as well as what’s new with the company and that specific industry. Which means you should be reading something!

  • "I’m Terrified of Flying..." The job you’re interviewing for may require flying at some point, so your employer needs to know you can handle it. If you have a phobia or family situation that will prohibit your ability to do your job, you should ask questions like: "How much travel will be involved, and where would I be traveling to?"