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Nine things never to say in a job interview
By CHARLES PURDY Monster Senior Editor
When you’re searching for a job, landing an interview can feel like a huge success — and it is, but for most open positions, the interview is only one step in a long hiring process. For some jobs, dozens of people may be interviewed, and the competition will be fi erce. Don’t take yourself out of the competition by saying one of these job-interview killers:
you offer? 1. What sort of perks do
Save talk about benefi ts and perks for the negotiation stage — that is, after you’ve gotten a job offer — or until the interviewer raises the issue. (A recruiter for a large computer manufacturer re- lates that many interviewees ask about “how many free products” they’ll get af- ter they’re hired. But if you ask this ques- tion, you’ll never get hired.)
pany do? 2. What does your com-
Believe it or not, recruiters and hiring managers say they get asked this ques- tion all the time. Before you go into your job interview, research what the compa- ny does, and come up with some specifi c ways you can help it do whatever it does better.
refl ects badly on you. Even if you’re tell- ing the truth, it makes you look like a complainer and poor sport (exactly the type of person no one wants to work
%$#*! Complaining about your last job only
3. My last boss was a real
with). It’s great to talk about challenges you faced, but the focus should be on the positive results you achieved.
their physical appearance — doing so can come off as inappropriate or just plain creepy. Paying compliments is fi ne, but they should be related to the profes- sional realm. For instance, you might want to praise a recent success the com- pany or interviewer has had.
fort will be perceived as negativity — or as you making excuses for not perform- ing well in the interview. (An HR man- ager in Silicon Valley tells of a candidate who complained of a headache caused by “partying too hard last night.” Need- less to say, this candidate didn’t get the job.)
view — but there are more graceful ways to explain that you were fi red. “My boss and I had very different ideas about what our department should be focusing on, and it soon became clear that I’d be hap- pier in a new role — like this one.” Keep the focus on what you learned from the past, and bring the focus back to why the job you’re interviewing for is the right one for you.
7. I just want a job — any This may very well be true, but des-
position. You never want to lie in a job inter-
6. I got fi red from my last
5. My feet are killing me! Complaining about physical discom-
4. I love your glasses. Never compliment interviewers on
peration is not appealing. The in- terviewer needs to know that you want the particular job you’re in- terviewing for — and that you’re a great fi t for it.
the answer to an interview question about you or your background, try “I’ll fi nd out and get back to you by the end of the day.” But if the question is about what you’d do in a hypothetical workplace situation — or is an off-the-wall or brainteaser question such as “How many golf balls would it take to fi ll this room?” — your response should show your thought process. Go ahead and think aloud: “First, I’d have to deter- mine the volume of the room. Then I’d have to subtract the volume of the furniture.…” And so on.
is a bunch of malarkey. So how do you answer the “what’s your biggest weak- ness” question? Choose something not directly related to the role you’re applying for that you’ve made posi- tive efforts to improve. For example, you could say, “I can be nervous about speaking in front of large groups — so I enrolled in Toastmasters and then vol- unteered to present some seminars at my former employer. So that’s becoming less and less of a problem for me.”
9. My biggest weakness is that I work too hard. Your interviewer knows this answer
8. I don’t know. If you really don’t know
2012 - Monster Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy, reproduce or distribute this article without the prior written permission of Monster Worldwide. This article fi rst appeared on Monster, the leading online global network for careers. To see other career- related articles, visit: http://career-advice. monster.com
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