The big day comes and you finally get a job interview. You've done your research on the company, you've got questions prepared and have even used whitening strips so your teeth practically glow in the dark. (Of course, your teeth ache so bad in an air conditioned room it brings tears to your eyes, but hey...whatever it takes to get a job.)
But then the interviewer asks you into her office. There's a bit of an awkward silence as she sorts through some materials on her desk and then looks at you expectantly. The silence goes on for a beat or two longer and before you know it....BAM! You fall for it. You fall for the oldest tactic in the book and then you're blabbing total nonsense and your job chances go out the window.
Because in those first few minutes, the job interviewer has gotten you to say something stupid. Like how the traffic was a total bitch and you had to park 10 blocks away for some ridiculous $15 an hour and then walk in shoes that pinch your feet and...
This is not how you build rapport with a hiring manager. It's how you make them see you as a whiner and someone who will spend the first 10 minutes of any job complaining to co-workers about your job and then calling your mother and doing the same thing.
Let's go over, then, the things you DON'T use as small talk:
- How tired you are because you haven't been sleeping well. This tells the employer you are an insomniac or party animal who will be asleep at the switch before 11 a.m.
- Talk about the bad weather. Again, the bitching tendency never goes over well, even about small stuff. If you can't handle hot/cold/rainy/snowy weather, what can you handle?
- How cool/cute/handsome the interviewer's jacket/jewelry/office is. They have been schmoozed by much better than you, and you just come off as one of those suck-ups that co-workers end up hating and complaining about to HR.
- Unless you're choking, don't request water/soda/coffee that hasn't been offered. Don't come off as a needy person whose personal needs trump everything else.
What are some other small-talk gaffes people make during interviews?