9 Things You Should Never Say In a Job Interview

Posted October 10, 2014 by
Aaron Gouveia

Aaron Gouveia, Salary.com contributing writer

Is it any wonder job interviews are such fertile ground for disaster?

Just think about it for a second. The hiring manager has to fill the position quickly and with the right person, and has to choose from a pool of candidates who are more than likely desperate to find employment and pay bills. Applicants have an hour or so to present themselves in the best possible light, and if you believe some experts it only takes a few seconds following a first impression for people to make their final judgments. Finally, throw in a hefty portion of self-doubt and amped up nerves, and it becomes pretty clear why there are so many job interview horror stories. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you can keep your anxiety in check and avoid these major landmines, you stand a much better chance of being hired.

9. “Sorry I’m late.”

Let’s start with the basics – show up on time.

If the first thing you do is to apologize because you’ve already failed the first and most basic requirement, the rest of the interview might not matter. If you can’t even bother to show up to the interview on time, why should your interviewer expect you to be prompt if you actually get the job? Even if you have a good excuse, it’s still the worst possible way to set the right tone.

Take a dry run the night before and get there early. Sit in the parking lot and bone up on your interview questions. Just be there on time.

8. “So how much does this job pay?”

Look, we all know salary is usually the most important factor when deciding whether or not you’ll take the job. But despite the old saying “honesty is the best policy,” in this case it’s usually wise to pretend that’s not the case and hold off on talk of compensation.

When you lead with the salary question, you’re basically screaming “SO WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?!” at your interviewer. And you’re making it perfectly clear your top priority is a paycheck, which could be a red flag for many employers.

Do your research on Salary.com prior to the interview so you’ll know the general salary range even if they don’t disclose it up front. Then, take their temperature on the salary discussion. Make sure they want you and you want them before you talk turkey.

7. “What’s your vacation policy, because I have this trip I’m taking next month…”

This one is similar to the salary discussion, except the other extreme.

Again, this isn’t a bad question to ask – down the road a bit! But if the first question you have for them is whether you can get extra time off for a job that you don’t even have yet, that’s going to be seen as a deterrent.

Once you get into the interview process a little bit more and determine whether they are seriously considering hiring you (and whether you want to work there), then you should start talking about specifics. Don’t forget to use things like vacation time as leverage if the company won’t budge on salary. But whatever you do, just don’t jump the gun and cost yourself a good opportunity.

6. “I browsed your website a little…”

Most hiring managers will ask you if you’re familiar with the company and what your role will require. And contrary to popular belief, saying “Well I browsed the website a little” is not good enough.

Do your homework. Dig into the company’s history, find out who makes up the executive suite. Google the company name for recent news so you’re not blindsided by any recent headlines you should be aware of at the interview. But whatever you do, don’t let them see you’re the kind of person who only gives the minimum effort.

Continue reading . . .

Article by Aaron Gouveia and courtesy of Salary.com

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