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.
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.
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.