Most of us dread job interviews, no matter how much we want the job. Nerves can get the better of you and unexpected questions can throw you off, but there is still a good amount of preparation you can do to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Here are 12 things which you should never do or say in a job interview if you want it to go well for you.
Worst things to say in an interview:
- “I don’t know”
It is very possible that the interviewer will ask you a question you are not prepared for, but there are much better responses than a simple ‘I don’t know’. By answering with a suggestion that you need to gather more information or ask another person for information shows to the interviewer how you deal with situations where you don’t know the answer. Be proactive about it, don’t try to sweep it under the rug.
- “How much is the salary?”
It is better to leave discussion of salary to after a formal job offer has been made. Alternatively, this could also show a lack of research done into the role, as many jobs will have a salary band advertised. Too much emphasis on what the benefits are for you will not give the interviewer a favourable impression.
- “So, tell me about your company”
A crucial part of going for a job interview is to do your research. You should at least know enough about the company that anyone could find from a simple Google search and review of the company website.
- “I worked for a horrible boss/company”
A job interview is not the place to complain about previous employers, it is the chance to show off your skills and expertise for the job. Instead of focusing on the negative experiences you may have had in a previous role, focus on the achievements you made there and how this would benefit the company you are interviewing for.
- “I’m not sure I have the experience you’re looking for”
It is the interviewers job to decide if you have the skills they are looking for and being reserved about your skill-set can come off as very negative. Even if you are a new graduate or looking for a change in career, focus on transferable skills and what you would be able to bring to the role.
- “No, I don’t have any questions”
You should always prepare a couple of questions to ask at interview as it shows you have an interest in the role and the company. Jot these down when you are doing your research before the interview and try to keep them open-ended to avoid yes or no questions.
Worst things to do in an interview:
- Arrive late
First impressions count, and there should be no excuse for arriving late to your interview. Don’t let the interviewer make assumptions about you or your abilities by arriving late.
- Wear inappropriate clothing
Don’t make assumptions about dress code in the workplace. Some have a more casual dress but for a job interview you should dress professionally. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed at an interview.
- Bad body language
Slouching in your chair and not making eye contact is unacceptable in an interview. Sitting up straight and looking at your interviewers will make you more engaged and focused.
- Answer your phone
There is no reason to get your phone out, it should be switched off and put away for the duration of the interview.
- Be negative
Aim for a neutral or positive demeanour during the interview. Your skills and experience are being evaluated, but your personality will also be scrutinised. Interviewers will be assessing whether you will fit in with the team and the company, and there are few who wish to hire those with a negative outlook.
If you need to fake your credentials or lie about your experience in an interview to get a job, then you should accept the fact that the job is not for you.
This list may not make your job interview experience any more enjoyable, but it will help you prepare and give yourself a better chance of making a good impression. Even if you are unsuccessful for the particular job you interviewed for, how you come across in interview can stick in people’s minds and you may find other opportunities opening up for you.