Preparing what not to say in an interview is just as important in preparing what to say.
We can all agree you are under a lot of stress when in a job interview and a simple mistake could easily cost you the job.
Here we will discuss what not to say in an interview and offer advice on what to say in an interview.
What Not to Say in an Interview (Do’s and Don’ts)
1) Tell us about yourself?
- Do not tell the interviewer your life story. It is ok to briefly discuss your hobbies and interests, but what they want to hear is how your related work experience will benefit the company you are interviewing for.
2) Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Almost any interview I have ever been on has asked this question regardless of the position. The main reason this question is asked is to see if you are a fit for the company you are applying. Companies spend a lot of time and effort training people and no one wants to hire a job hopper because you are looking for a job and not a career. For example, suppose you are interviewing at a bank and in five years you want to work in childcare. Although child care is an honorable profession it doesn’t seem like you are a good match for the bank as you probably will not stay for long.
- Remember for this question pick a career that aligns with the business of the company you are applying to. So if you are applying for a teller position at a bank state something like “I would like to stay in banking and become an investment adviser”.
3) Do you have any questions for us?
- The worst response you can have to this question is “no” as you sound uninterested or even worse unprepared.
Questions not to ask:
- Can bring my child to work?
- How many holidays can I get?
- Can I work from home?
Some of my favorite questions are:
- What are characteristics of your top performing employees?
- If I were to start tomorrow what would be my top priority?
You can also ask simple questions like:
- What kind of training will I receive?
- What hours will I work?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- Don’t mention anything negative you read in the media.
- Don’t state you want to work for the company for tips or for money.
4) Would you rather work as a team or an individual?
- Never say, individual. I can’t think of a single company that was entirely built by one person so teamwork is key. Mark Zuckerberg may have built Facebook with very little help but there are thousands are employees at Facebook today. Imagine going to McDonald’s and only one person is running the entire restaurant. Always say you would rather work as a team and not as an individual.
5) How did find this job?
- Don’t say you found this job on a job board state you always wanted to work for this company and you were actively searching or applying for jobs here.
6) What is your greatest weakness?
- Everyone has a weakness that they need to work on but if you state you don’t have a weakness the interviewer simply won’t believe you. All companies need certain skills. I recommend looking at the job description and make sure you don’t list these skills as your greatest weakness. If possible state a weakness, that does not apply to the job. For example, “when I get caught up in my work I don’t make enough personal time or myself”. Although not taking enough personal time off for myself is a weakness it will have minimal impact on the job you are applying for.
7) Why did you leave your last job?
- Don’t say because you had a conflict with your manager or a coworker.
- State something that shows ambition like although I enjoyed my time at company XYZ I feel reached my full potential and further advancement is not possible.