Have you ever wondered what makes a successful interview? A job interview is an opportunity to learn more about the company and to find out if your priorities and values line up. It is also an opportunity to impress the hiring team to show why they would want you as part of their organization. Before you get started, here are some tips on what NOT to say so you are sure to make a lasting impression:
- “So, tell me what you do around here”
If you are interviewing for a job, it is important to do some research on the company. The last thing you want to do is to come into an interview unprepared. A quick Google search or a LinkedIn search will show you everything from past employees to what their previous offices were like, you can also get interview examples from the company’s career page and reviews on Indeed.
- “Ugh, my last company…”
It is normal to want to talk about why you are in the market for a new job. However, it’s imperative not to talk about your former employer in a negative light. First, it is unprofessional to badmouth anyone in a discussion, and secondly it can limit your opportunities. When you are asked why you left your previous job, the best thing to do is to be honest and focus on what you learned there to express how this knowledge has been to your development.
- “I’m really nervous”
An interview is your time to shine and show off your talents. It is easy to feel nervous but do not tell your interviewer this. This demonstrates a lack of confidence and that you may be unprepared. Flashing a smile and having an open mind will show the potential employer that you are approachable, confident, and eager to get the job. The old saying, “fake it ‘til you make it” certainly applies!
- “I’ll do whatever”
Hiring managers want to hear that you are passionate about the position you are applying for and not just looking for a job. They need to feel as though there is a shared connection between your resume and their description of the job. Focus on selling yourself as a qualified candidate and be ready to explain why you are a great fit for the role.
- “I know I don’t have much experience, but…”
By telling an interviewer you don’t have much experience, you are insinuating that you are not a viable candidate for the job. Instead of focusing on your weaknesses and drawing attention to what you do not have, emphasize your strengths, and show them why you are a great fit for the position, even if your experiences do not line up perfectly with the requirements of the job.
- “It’s on my resume”
In a job interview, you can highlight your communication and people skills. Take advantage of this by explaining your abilities in detail instead of simply saying they exist on your resume. Furthermore, just stating it is on your resume may make the interviewer think you are uninterested or do not care.
- “Yes! I have a great answer for that!”
You want to impress the hiring manager but appearing overeager or that you have hyper-prepared can make it seem like you are desperate for a job. It can also come off as ingenuine. While it is important to practice before your interview, try and maintain a natural conversation with the hiring manager.
- “Perfectionism is my greatest weakness”
While some may believe this is what an interviewer wants to hear, chances are they have heard it before, and it may come off as an inaccurate cliché. It also does not give much detail about your work style or personality. Although you want to put your best foot forward in an interview, it is important to remain true to yourself!
- “Nope—No questions”
Asking thoughtful questions at the end of an interview is a fantastic way to show that you are eager to learn more about the company. Some examples of good questions to ask are:
- What does a typical day or week look like in this role?
- What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?
- What attributes does someone need to have to be successful in this position?
- “Um, so yeah, that was, like, the most significant role of my last position”
Filler words, such as “like” and “um” can make you seem unsure of what you are talking about. Not only this, but it can also be distracting for the interviewer, and it could make it hard for them to concentrate on your answers. Practicing before an interview is a wonderful way to limit these types of words.
By limiting these types of interactions, you are on your way to having a great interview. The more you prepare for interviews, the more confident and natural you will feel. Remember, an interview is simply for a hiring manager to get to know you better and see if you would be a good fit. By staying genuine to who you are, you will have a better chance of finding a job to match your needs!