We all fall into the trap of sending out resumes as long the job title hints something that might be suitable. Some of us do not even bother reading the job description. You are now on your way to the interview unprepared and suddenly you happen to be on this article well you are in luck because avoid saying any of the 5 things below and you stand a chance to move on through to the second round of interviews.
- Never Bad mouth Ex Company/Boss
I am sure we have all been there. We did not like our company structure our bosses seem like they had nothing better to do but to keep adding on unnecessary processes and think we have endless time. All this are perfectly good reasons to leave a company but do not say it in an interview. You will be deemed as someone that will bad mouth the company as soon as you leave and which interviewer in the right mind is going to hire you? If you left your ex-company under a year the question of “why did you leave your previous company so soon?” will pop out and you should answer in a more neutral tone saying that the Job scope previously agreed on has deviated too much from the original one, and I have spoken to my superiors, but it seems like nothing can be done at the moment. Saying that you are unable to perform in that role due the change in Job scope might sound like putting yourself in a bad spot, but it is far from the truth. Interviewers will sense the honesty and also be more forth coming in the Job scope so that they you will stay in the post as long as possible.
- Do not say yes to everything
A good job offer might come onto the market and you are certain that landing the job will change your work and personal life, so you are desperate to land it. You walk into the interview room ready to take on the interviewer. She starts throwing you questions that normally you would answer no to, but you lie to yourself and say “yes” to everything. An interview is a short story to tell about yourself, nobody is perfect and if you say “yes” to all of the questions it is obvious to the interviewer that you are trying to give a model answer. Second reason is if you are such a “yes man” they would naturally assume that whatever offer they throw at you is going to be accepted because you have perceived yourself as desperate. Set the tone to your own interview and leave a strong impression all this tiny little detail adds up to bargaining chips when it comes to contract negotiation.
- What is your greatest weakness?
You have been waiting for this question and you believed you have rehearsed the answer a million times. Too many people have used answers like I am a perfectionist, or I focus so much on my own work that I sometimes forget about others. All this answers just show that you are not willing to accept that you have a true weakness. You have to spin the weakness in your favor. Interviewers will not accept this answer. A good exercise is to ask the people closest to you what is your weakness. Outsiders see things clearer than you. Admit that you have a shortfall and give a reason why that might be so and that you are constantly aware of this weakness. Give examples of what have you been doing to overcome this weakness. This will present you as someone that analyses yourself and constantly put in effort to change. Hiring someone that is keen in self-improvement is something very attractive to hiring managers.
- Think before you brag.
Knowing what to brag about and bragging about your achievements in the previous company is important. There are many companies out there that give out awards for top employee, top sales or even most improved award. All this are very important details that you should bring up. But do not brag about irrelevant things, or things that just pop to your mind. If you are on the track of talking about consistently being the top 10% of the sales department, do not jump to how you got to award of best intern. You might grab every chance to brag but this is where you fall into “presenter’s paradox”. The interviewer will average out the accomplishments that you have listed out. To put it simply imagine receiving your report card and you have 3 subjects, you score 80/100 for 2 of them but 10/100 for 1 of them, drastically lower your average score. In essence think of the top 3 accomplishment either in life or in your previous companies and focus on talking about those and how you achieved them.
- Do you have any questions for me?
When this question pops up it usually signals the interview is nearing the end. You might have been nervous throughout and when you hear the interview say this line you quickly say “no”. You want the interview to end ASAP. Instead take a deep breath and calm yourself down. Think about questions that make you seem interested in the company. A good tip would be to ask more about the job scope and what you will be doing daily. Make the interviewer feel as if you are already part of the company. This give them a lasting image and they unknowingly treat you like a colleague.