Interviews are places where you have to watch your tongue every second. You don’t want to say too much, the wrong thing, or ramble on incessantly. Some topics should be totally off limits during an interview. Be sure to keep these things on your mind and off your tongue at your next interview.
Never admit to being nervous
Being nervous and admitting it are two different things during an interview.
You should show confidence in yourself first. Hide the case of nerves as best you can, and do not mention being nervous. The interviewer is looking for a confident candidate, and that can be you.
It may seem endearing to admit it, like you’re nervous and excited for the opportunity. But ultimately, it’s better to appear confident and in control of your emotions.
Never mention entrepreneurial aspirations during an interview
Don’t tell an interviewer that you want to be your own boss.
Mentioning that you want to be your own boss puts you in a unique category that you really don’t want to be in. According to Ken Sundheim, it immediately lists you as a threat to the company because you could be there to learn trade secrets or be seen as a potential loss that leads to another day of interviewing. If you want to be hired, don’t tell them you want to work for yourself. Explain why you want to work for them.
Don’t be too eager to work
If you are looking to be hired, being too eager to work can work against you.
Instead of being available for any job, be job specific when you apply. If you are willing to do anything, the interviewer may see you as desperate and not having specialized skills. If you’ll do anything, you’re not necessarily good at something. Make yourself valuable to the company by expressing yourself and your talents well.
Don’t Give Apologies for Lack of Experience
If your resume doesn’t show years of experience in the industry that you are trying to break into, don’t make apologies for this lack of experience.
Build on your strengths rather than dwelling on your weak areas. This advice applies to the mid-career changer as well as the new graduate. If you don’t have the years of experience that the interviewer is requiring, mention any skills that transfer and make you the best qualified person for the job.
Don’t tell them to look at your resume
If you are asked a question, be sure to answer the question.
Don’t refer the interviewer back to your resume. They want to hear an answer directly from you. You are a living, breathing person. Your resume is a piece of paper.
Reminding them that you listed it on your resume is disrespectful, and it is a definite don’t.
Don’t talk about your job search
Let them know how you found them, but don’t talk about the hours you spent looking for other opportunities on local job sites. They don’t care about your job search, they care about potentially hiring you.
Move the focus to you and your skills as much as possible, not your inability to find other opportunities.
Don’t wait for questions you want to answer
Rehearsing and practicing for an interview gives you confidence for answering certain questions, but don’t be listening and anticipating just those questions.
You have to be attentive and able to give answers to all of the questions that are asked. Being able to carry on a conversation without appearing to have it scripted is important to making it past round one in the interview process.
Don’t use clichés
Be original with your words. Always find new and positive ways of saying things. Instead of using buzzwords and clichés, describe yourself with adjectives and phrases that will showcase your creativity and ability to think independently.
The interview is the place to set yourself apart from the crowd, and your conversation is the most obvious way to do this.
Definitely lose the filler words
Any word or phrase that you use to fill in a sentence while you are thinking should not be spoken during an interview. These words include ‘like’, and sounds such as ‘um’, and ‘er’. These do not help you communicate your message clearly and succinctly. You should remain silent rather than filling the gaps with these sounds.
Filler words are often words you don’t even remember saying. A pro tip is to record yourself speaking. Then, watch to see which filler words that you need to eliminate from your vocabulary.
Stay on topic
If you have a tendency to ramble, put a lid on it during the interview. Feel free to be a great storyteller around your friends and family, but not during an interview unless the story you are telling is relevant to the job at hand.
If in your work experiences you achieved great success, then definitely share that story when the time is right. However, if you just can’t wait to tell someone about your weekend plans, keep that story to yourself.
Never ask what the company does
If you have to ask what the company does that you are interviewing with, you haven’t done your homework. This question is the biggest turnoff for recruiters and can summarily end what was a great interview up until you asked this fatal question. If you ask this question, odds are really good that you won’t be hired.
Realize the power of your words
Words are powerful, especially during an interview. Choose them carefully, and you’ll increase the odds of landing the job. If you’ve already been to an interview and have said all of the wrong things, learn from your mistakes.
If you slip up and say one of these things, realize it. Next time you’ll know what not to say.
Susan Ranford is an expert on job market trends, hiring, and business management. She is the Community Outreach Coordinator for New York Jobs. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them.