(November 2016) Preparing for an interview can make a person feel like they are being pulled in every direction while trying to memorize dozens of talking points. The truth is, with a little preparation and planning, an interview can be a stress-free experience. With that said, here are some things you should definitely not say during an interview.
It’s important to research the company to which you are applying. Make sure you have read up on the job and the company itself so you don’t end up saying things like “So, tell me what you do.” Interviewers will be unimpressed if you haven’t taken the time to prepare enough to even know what the company does.
When talking about your work or academic history, it’s important to know how your experience will directly relate to the job you want. This is where it’s important to have researched the company and the job. Even if you don’t have the experience working in a certain area, don’t say that to an interviewer. Instead, talk about how what you did at your former employer will help you complete the tasks of your new job.
There are some phrases to avoid when talking about your work history. Don’t badmouth or talk down about your old boss or employer. That shows the interviewer that you might be difficult to work with, even if that’s not the case. If you’re asked what you didn’t like about your old job, I suggest highlighting an area of interest that your old employer didn’t offer but the new job does. This shows that you’re interested in the new job and what you’ll be doing if hired.
It’s good to be prepared if the interviewer asks if you have any questions. You should have these questions prepared ahead of time, but don’t ask about vacation time or other employee perks right off the bat. You are there to pitch yourself to the company, not the other way around. If you’re asked to come back for a second interview or are offered the job, then you are safe to ask about those things.
These are just a few topics and phrases to avoid. Here is a list of 30 more to read over before heading to an interview.
My hope for students is to be well prepared and thoughtful in their approach to interview opportunities. If you take the time to prepare and think about what you want to say, you’ll represent yourself well and be confident in your chances at landing the job.