You’ve got an interview lined up – congratulations. Since it’s likely you’ll be talking with someone either face to face, on the phone, or over a video call, it’s vital that you make a good first impression. And saying the wrong thing can derail your candidacy before it even gets started.
Here’s what not to do during your next job interview:
#1: Claiming you’ve never made a mistake.
No one’s perfect. Trying to claim you are will only make you look bad. The hiring manager doesn’t want to hear that you’re flawless – they want to hear how you overcome obstacles, admit your failures, and learn from them.
#2: Asking about salary right away.
It’s always a best practice to have the employer mention salary first – that way you can negotiate from there. Asking about salary too soon shows that you’re only in it for the money, and most employers will be quick to stop considering you after that.
#3: Speaking negatively about yourself.
It can be easy to be self-deprecating in an interview, but you want to avoid this. Don’t speak in terms of the things you can’t do; speak in terms of the things you can. You can be honest about your skills and experience without speaking negatively about yourself.
#4: Being too personal.
Unless the conversation veers toward personal things like family and children, it’s best to stay away from them unless the hiring manager goes there first. At this stage, the employer isn’t interested in your personal life – they’re interested in you as a job candidate.
#5: Asking why the position is open.
Avoid asking why the position you’re interviewing for is open. It could touch on an uncomfortable or sensitive subject for the hiring manager. Instead, ask “what does the progression of this role look like?”
#6: Appearing bored or disinterested.
This is a quick way to get yourself written off. Be engaged and listen actively throughout the entire interview to show you’re really interested. Otherwise, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
#7: Not having any questions.
Almost every interview will wrap up with the hiring manager asking you if you have any questions for them. Saying “no” makes it seem like you’re uninterested or just plain lazy. Come prepared with a few questions ahead of time.
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