We’ve all had a job interview that went so bad, we’ve wanted the ground to swallow us whole. It’s a rite of passage, and all you can do is learn from it ahead of the next time you shoot your shot. However, thanks to recruitment specialists Glassdoor, we’ve now got a cheat-sheet on what to avoid.
As Emily Moore writes for the company, there are seven common responses that instantly turn off any potential employers. They range from cliches to vague answers, and if you really do want to impress the panel, you’ll stay away from uttering these infamous last words…
Things you should avoid saying in a job interview:
Revealing too much when asked to “talk about yourself”
Personal health, family and sharing your flaws should all be avoided in the context of a job interview. Instead, lead the conversation towards your professional achievements. Speak about your work experience thus far and explain why it’s relevant to the current position.
Being vague and unclear when asked to “talk about the company”
It’s an essential part of the process when you apply for a new job. You have to do your research. Employers strongly dislike vague, basic details about their own companies. You should rather talk about their target market and business-critical information like the products and services they provide.
“I’m a team player”
Sounds mad, but this is a cliche that is now wearing very thin with businesses. It simply doesn’t provide any specifics about your own qualities, and suggests you’re happy to pass the buck. When expressing your team-working capabilities, talk about how you work within a team and what unique qualities you bring to the collective.
“I work too hard / I’m a perfectionist”
When pressed to give critical self-evaluation, many applicants see this as a “loophole” – as if they’ve found a way to circumvent any aspects of required professional improvement. The “perfectionist” response comes across as arrogant. Instead, you should be prepared to talk about an area of your skills set you’d like to improve.
“I want to be doing this job in five years time”
Employers often ask where candidates see themselves within the next five years. If you think a quick show of blind loyalty is going to impress them, you’re wrong. It actually comes across that you lack ambition. Applicants should look into what roles they can get promoted to in the near future (within the company) and list them as a career goal.
“I need a job”
Desperation just doesn’t cut it, we’re afraid. When applicants are asked why they want to work for this company, this isn’t the response they’re looking for. Devay Campbell is a career coach at Career 2 Cents, and he believes that the best way to shmooze in a job interview is with something like the following:
“You are a leader in your industry and I want to be aligned with an organization that’s on the cutting edge and leading the pack.”
Campbell also advises applicants to consider the mottos and mission statements of a prospective new company. If you can use these in your interview – and explain how the values align with you’re own – you’ll be in business.
“I am passionate about the role”
Employers usually finish interviews by asking why they should hire you for the position. It’s direct, and straight to the point. But if you list “passion” as one of your main reasons, it probably won’t cut the mustard.
What you need to do is demonstrate your passion, rather than just say you have it – for example, do you do anything outside of work that helps you grow in your professional life? Because that is the type of thing these guys are looking for. It’s also worth mentioning how your enthusiasm has helped you achieve specific results in other lines of work.
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