Monday, March 16, 2015

5 Things to Never Say in a First Job Interview

Blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter provide forums to share our thoughts on a daily basis. We might complain about the rotten weather, how long we had to stand in line to get coffee or the dog that barked all night and kept us awake.

But when it comes to interviewing, you need to be more careful in what you choose to say because what your followers on Twitter may see as a funny rant against a slow barista comes across as whiny and immature to a hiring manager.

Employers want employees who will be positive, and are willing to overcome any obstacle with a can-do attitude. If you come across as someone who can't handle what life throws at you, the interviewer will move onto someone else with a brighter outlook.

So, let's look at some of the things you should NOT say in your first interview with an employer:

1. Don't complain about the traffic, or how difficult it was to find a parking space. There's nothing a hiring manager can do about either thing, so don't dump your woes on him or her.
2. Don't whine about the weather, especially if you're from another area. Boston got hammered this winter, but natives take pride in the fact that they didn't give in, but just kept shoveling. Again, there is nothing a hiring manager can do about the weather.
3. Don't complain about not getting enough sleep, or not feeling 100%. More studies show the cost of sleep-deprived employees on the bottom line, and employee illnesses cost businesses billions every year. Neither of those complaints will make you more attractive to the hiring manager.
4. Don't admit to your nervousness. You can always say you're excited to be in the interview, but an interviewer will expect you to conquer your nervousness by being prepared and professional.
5. Be careful about name-dropping. In a first interview, it's best to focus on your skills and what you bring to the table. You might be tempted to mention the name of someone you know at the company, but make very sure this person is highly regarded within the company. Mentioning the name of someone who is seen internally as a slacker or troublemaker could hurt you. 

Finally, remember that hiring managers are pretty smart folks and they're going to see through your gushing remarks about how you just "love" their apparel, hair, jewelry, etc. They know you're trying to butter them up, but it's better to focus on making sure they have a copy of your resume or samples of your work. Demonstrating that your focus is on meeting their needs is always the best way to set a positive tone in the interview.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Great tips, Anita, especially the fifth one. I don't think that people pay enough attention to this.