1. â€œSo, tell me what you do around here.â€
Rule #1 of interviewing: Do your research. You never want to walk into an interview knowing next to nothing about the position or companyâ€”you want to show that youâ€™re excited enough that youâ€™ve done some homework and thought about how youâ€™d fit in. To get started, do some online research and try to find a current or past employee you can talk to before the big day.
2. â€œUgh, my last companyâ€¦â€
No matter how bad a job was, you never, ever want to badmouth a former employer in an interview. Keep your tone somewhere between neutral and positive, focusing on what youâ€™ve learned from each experience and what youâ€™re hoping to do in the future. This especially applies when youâ€™re talking about why youâ€™re leaving.
3. â€œI didnâ€™t get along with my boss.â€
Similarly, you donâ€™t want to speak negatively about anyone youâ€™ve worked with in the past. Even if a previous manager could put the characters in Horrible Bosses to shame, your interviewer doesnâ€™t know thatâ€”and could wonder whether youâ€™re the difficult one to work with.
4. â€œIâ€™m really nervous.â€
Even if youâ€™re more nervous than youâ€™ve ever been, no company wants to hire someone who lacks confidence. â€œSo, in this case, honesty is not the best policy,â€ says Amy Hoover, president of the job board TalentZoo. â€œFake it â€™til you make it!â€ (Via Business Insider)
5. â€œIâ€™ll do whatever.â€
Most hiring managers are looking for people who are incredibly passionate about the role theyâ€™re taking on. So when you say something to the effect of, â€œI donâ€™t care what jobs you have availableâ€”Iâ€™ll do anything!â€ thatâ€™s a big red flag. Instead, target your search to a specific role at each company, and be ready to explain why itâ€™s exactly what youâ€™re looking for.
6. â€œI know I donâ€™t have much experience, but...â€
This mistake is easy to make, especially if youâ€™re a recent grad or career changer. Problem is, when you apologize for experience you donâ€™t have, youâ€™re essentially saying that youâ€™re not a great hire, that youâ€™re not quite the right fit for the role, or even that you would be starting from square one. And thatâ€™s just not the case! Instead of drawing attention to your weaknesses, stay positive, focus on your strengths, and immediately launch into your transferable skills and infectious enthusiasm for the position.
7. â€œItâ€™s on my resume.â€
â€œHereâ€™s the thing; I know itâ€™s on your resume, but if Iâ€™m asking you about a particular job or experience, I want you to tell me more beyond a written word. Iâ€™m actually evaluating your communication and social skills. Are you articulate? Should you be client-facing, or are you someone we need to keep hidden in the basement next to the IT lending library?â€ says Nando Rodriguez, Head of Employment Branding at Ogilvy & Mather. â€œIf a recruiter is asking you about a certain skill, donâ€™t reference your resume, and instead use it as your moment to shine.â€
8. â€œYes! I have a great answer for that!â€
Practiced your answers to some interview questions? Great. But donâ€™t memorize them word for word. When youâ€™re hyper-prepared and hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for certain questions for which youâ€™ve prepared to be asked, you will likely have a very hard time engaging in genuine conversation with the interviewer. And interviewers donâ€™t tend to hire detached people who canâ€™t seem to have a genuine conversation. Certainly, walk in prepared, but force yourself to not memorize or over-rehearse the practice questions.
9. â€œPerfectionism is my greatest weakness.â€
Hereâ€™s the thing: Chances are, telling a hiring manager that perfectionism is your greatest weakness wonâ€™t surprise him or herâ€”and it might come off as sounding like an overly rehearsed clichÃ©. It also doesnâ€™t offer much of a true insight into your work style or personality (especially if half the other candidates are giving the same response). Try a more genuine response and if perfectionism really is your greatest weakness? Use these tips to spin it right.
10. â€œIâ€™m the top salesperson at the companyâ€”and I have two semesters worth of Spanish.â€
In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Heidi Grant Halvorson gives an excellent example of a case in which less is more: Instead of stopping after describing your degrees from Harvard, your relevant internships, and your technical expertiseâ€”you tack on your two semesters of college-l
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