Avoid Saying The Wrong Things During A Job Interview

Avoid Saying The Wrong Things During A Job Interview

Everyone knows there are things you can say during a job interview that will get you all kinds of brownie points.  For example, a demonstrated knowledge of the company you’re applying with that includes noteworthy facts you gleaned during your research. A well thought out plan for how you plan to evolve with the company that weaves your experiences in with the trajectory the company is already on.

 

Then there are things you can say that will essentially end the interview well before that final handshake.

 

Undemonstrated motivation

When asked about your positive qualities you definitely want to convey how motivated you are. However how you express that motivation can either make the interviewer sit up in interest or send them off into a daydream about lunch. If you say “I’m highly motivated,” and leave it at that, you’re essentially not saying anything of note to the interviewer. A truly motivated person talks about achievements. They talk about skills. They convey exactly how they are going to change the world around them to the best of their abilities.

 

Empty words

If an interviewer asks you about your weaknesses and you say you are a perfectionist what are they supposed to take away from that? No matter what the question, dig deep and find an answer that shines a light on your potential. Approach it from the standpoint of measurable improvement. What you did in a given situation, what you learned from it, how you improved, how you would approach a similar situation now.

 

Lack of interest

You know the interviewer is going to ask if you have any questions. Maybe the interview ends and you are totally satisfied with everything you heard. You feel great about what you said and you’re pretty sure you’re a shoe in for the job. So you answer, “No, I don’t have any questions,” and all your good work slams into a bad answer.

 

Having no questions indicates a lack of interest in the job and the interviewer – whether that’s what you actually meant or not. Always have questions ready to ask. Raise the expectations and interest as you close off your interview. Don’t bring them to a grinding halt!

 

Discussing vacations at the wrong time

Obviously, benefits like vacation time are important considerations for any job, however there is a time for that discussion and it’s not during your initial interview. If you bring it up too soon you’re telling the interviewer that you’re more interested in what the job can do for them than what you can do for the job. If there’s a second interview that’s the time to discuss vacation time, otherwise save it for negotiations.

Lets Talk Salary…

The burning question…”What are your salary expectations?”

You’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to answer this question. Two reasons: 1) Money-talk is awkward no matter what.  2) Fear of rejection if given too high or too low of a number.

No matter what, the salary question will always be awkward. There’s no right or wrong answer but it’s important to prepare for it if you want to be valued for your skills and past accomplishments.

Here are some suggestions to answer the tough salary question with confidence in an interview.

What not to do when asked about salary

Never say, “I don’t know”: Just like with any other interview question, you never want to give the impression that you’re clueless. This shows that you’re not prepared and didn’t do your research. Saying “I don’t know” in general is an opening to a disastrous interview.

Never say, “It’s up to you or “whatever you want to give me”: Employers can take this two ways: either you have low expectations of their company or you’re a pushover. And obviously you don’t’ want them to think either of that. When you say “It’s up to you” or “whatever you want to give me”, you’re giving the employer control and leeway to give you whatever they please – and this can backfire because some employers can take advantage of this and underpay you.

What to do when asked about salary

Research the position/field you are interviewing for to get a clear understanding: To avoid all those statements above, it doesn’t come any clearer – DO YOUR RESEARCH! You’re looking up interview questions and preparing for the interview anyway. So why not find out the average salary/hourly wage that people in that position are currently making? Glassdoor.com or your country’s government website is the best way to find this. Try to study the annual trends and how it has increased or decreased over the years and months.

Always give a range, not an exact salary number: After conducting some research on how much people in your industry and position get annually, monthly and hourly, come up with a range between five and ten. For example, you can say between $15 to $20/hour or $40,000 to $50,00 a year depending on experience. This will allow the interviewer to have some leeway with you and reach a middle ground.

Use your common sense: Be smart and know the level of your position. Don’t expect a ridiculous amount of money if you are applying for a junior position. For example, IT positions can make over $100,000 a year, but not when they first start out. So be reasonable.