At most job interviews, you will have an opportunity to sell yourself, talk about your achievements and ask questions. However, an open floor isn’t an open invitation to ramble and blab about things that could cost you the job.
To avoid regrets and stories that touch, here are some things you should never say at an interview:
a. ‘What do you guys do at this company?’
Bros/Aunty, seriously? It shows you have no idea or knowledge of the company you intend working for, and it gives your interviewer(s) an impression that you are an unserious candidate. Before going for an interview, ensure you acquaint yourself with the company, its history and work. Look them up on Google, visit their website and check out their social media pages.
b. ‘You smell nice’
You most likely know this story. Here’s a recap: A Nigerian HR personnel took to Twitter to rant about a male candidate who, on leaving an interview, told her she smelt nice. She went on to scold him, and we’re guessing he didn’t get the job. Ouch. It might not seem like a deal-breaker to you, but you need to know that people are different. So, some might find the comment complimentary, while others, unsavoury. To be on the safer side, avoid compliments and personal remarks on your interviewer’s looks entirely. You might say them innocently, but it might be flirtatious or sycophantic. Always remember, a job interview is a formal event.
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c. ‘Can I quickly take this call?’
Really? NO! You can’t! Your phone should be switched off or put on silent mode at an interview. However, if you forget and your phone rings, put it off and apologize. Never ask for permission to take the call.
d. ‘I don’t have any questions’
A RED FLAG. Saying this makes you seem unenthusiastic about the job. Whether you are given the opportunity or not to ask questions, please do. This is your chance to interview the interviewer, so take full advantage of it. Ask short, smart and intelligent questions about the company, its culture, your job expectations, and how you can meet and surpass them. This creates a good impression and shows you will make a dedicated and committed employee.
e. ‘How much will I be paid?”
Please be patient. This question is most likely on your mind. However, do not bring it up so soon and plainly. Your interviewer should be the one to initiate this conversation. Do not give the impression that your remuneration is the primary thing you’re concerned about.
f. ‘How quickly do you promote employees?’
You might be curious about job promotions but it’s not a topic to bring up at an interview. Asking this question could make you come off as desperate or arrogant. So, don’t devalue the position you’re being interviewed for.
g. ‘This job will look good on my resume’
This tells your interviewer that you’re only using their company as a stepping stone to advance your career. Don’t give them an idea that you are using the company’s name as an advantage to get another job. Even if this is the case, you should avoid mentioning it; it’s not a clever move.
h. ‘I hated my previous job’
If your interviewer asks why you’re applying for a new job or why you left your previous job, avoid using negative tones. Do not give a negative review of your previous employer, no matter what. This gives your interviewer the impression that you will say the same about their company in the future. Avoid this red flag.
i. ‘I’m going through a lot right now’
Informing your interviewer of personal problems you’re currently facing might draw sympathy, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll be given a job. If anything, your interviewer might be concerned about how your personal problems could affect your performance on the job.
j. ‘How did I do?’
If it’s your first interview, you might be nervous, and begin to wonder if you left a good impression. However, asking your interviewer how you did at the interview is a rookie mistake. Don’t treat your interview as a stage performance, expecting your judges to tell you your score. Be confident in yourself and hope for the best!
k. ‘Um, so like, I uh…’
STOP ?IT ?RIGHT? THERE?. If you want to sound intelligent, articulate and confident, try to avoid these words as much as possible. Pause and think before you answer questions so you can sound collected.
What is the worst question you’ve asked or heard at an interview? Tell us in the comment section!