If you’re selected for an interview, then it means that your resume survived the initial screening process. But, proving that you have just the right skills on paper is only the first step to landing the job that you really want. Next, you’ll need to make every effort possible to stand out in a positive manner during the interview process. What you say during an interview is critical. Candidates should plan their interview by preparing talking point in advance. But also, keep in mind what NOT to say. Here are three things you should never say in an interview.
1. Don’t Bring Up Compensation
Inquiring about pay in the interview process is a turnoff to hiring managers. Compensation is something that should be discussed at the negotiation phase of the hiring process; after you have received an offer. Even though it’s an important discussion to have, having it during the interview is not the right time.
- Don’t talk about salary and benefits. Instead, focus on asking great questions and sharing what you will bring to their organization.
- Don’t ask specifics like “How many vacation days do I get?” “What about sick days?” or “How much does it cost to go to the doctor?”
- Don’t bring up money because the chance of getting it right is slim. You will put yourself in a bind because salary is just one piece of a compensation package. You wind up either leaving money on the table, or you lose position over a small amount of money. You may lose the opportunity because you don’t realize that they have excellent bonuses and benefits that could value an additional $20,000 dollars.
- If compensation does come up – say they ask you “Where do you want to be money wise?” Don’t avoid the question, but also don’t answer. Let them know where you are now regarding salary, bonuses, car, etc. and include something like “I’m sure if it comes together you’ll make me a fair offer, but it’s not all about money. AB&C are important to me (this list should show a good fit for both sides – things such as longevity, mobility, success are good examples).
2. Don’t Badmouth a Past Company or Boss
It can be very tempting to vent negatively about your current or old position. Instead, opt for taking the high road. It could very well be the difference that separates your character from another leading candidate.
- It makes you look bad. Speaking negatively about previous bosses is unprofessional and reflects poorly on you as an induvial.
- It makes them think “What is he going to say about me?”
- It’s a small world. People know each other from company to company, and through a variety of different non-work-related activities. Word travels fast and it could come back to bite you.
3. Don’t Say “Sorry I’m Late”
The trick here is – DON’T BE LATE! Punctuality is crucial during the interview process and during any subsequent tours or meet-and-greets. Being on time or even a few minutes early is one way to put your best foot forward.
Additional taboo topics include religion or politics. These topics often lead to heated debates, or to people making pre-conceived judgements or ideas about your character. You don’t want to be remembered as that candidate with an argumentative attitude. If the either subject is introduced during an interview politely defer the discussion back to your interest in the job.