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3 Things You Should Never Say or Do During A Job Interview

March 22, 2012

"see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil"

Many job seekers are nervous about participating in a job interview.  While some interview questions are easy to answer, others can make or break you.  With that said, I recently hosted a series of roundtable discussions with in-house recruiters and college program managers from various industries.  These sessions allow me to learn more about best practices as well as current issues and challenges that they are facing as they are trying to find qualified candidates.  But I also get a chance to hear some great stories about candidates from the recruiter’s point of view.  Here are three things that candidates should never say or do during a job interview.

Insight #1:  What does your company do?

As one recruiter from the fashion industry shared her story, she said, “C’mon, I can’t believe with today’s information available at your finger tips that some candidates would walk through the doors and even ask this question”.  Candidates must be prepared so do the research on the company prior to the job interview.  This is your moment to shine so ask questions that show you are well informed and don’t try to learn about what the company does as you are interviewing for the job.  Knowing as much as possible about the can make your interview more interactive.

Look up the company’s website and read as much as you can about it.  Check out the company’s Facebook Fan Page and see what comments are posted on the wall.  The wall can give you insights to what Followers/Fans are saying about recent company news or press releases.  Also, read about the company on “Yahoo Finance” located within the Yahoo main site.  This provides users with free financial information about companies including stock prices, financial statistics and analyst opinions.  It also provides competitive & industry analysis and the very popular Yahoo company message boards.

These are great sources for company information.

Insight #2:  How much does the job pay?

A College Program Manager from the social gaming company shared his story, he said, “Some candidates ask this question about salaries even before the interviewer has a chance to ask their first question and this is a big no-no”.  A job interview is an assessment to evaluate a mutual fit for the open position and the organization.

As a rule of thumb, you should typically wait to have discussions about compensation once you are in the offer stage or deeper into the interview process.  If salary is discussed, it should be up to the interviewer from the company to bring up the subject.  If they ask you how much salary you are expecting, then you should have a range to share and not a specific amount.  If this is the first thing that comes out of your mouth then it seems that all you are after is the money.

Insight #3:  Beware of being too casual.

One of the recruiters from an enterprise software company shared with the group that he typically interviews over 100 candidates a week.  He said, “At times, candidates misinterpret a casual discussion as an invitation to use slang language to express themselves as if they are speaking to a buddy”.  Keep in mind, an interview is NOT a casual conversation as if you were “tweeting” or “texting”  a close friend.  The use of slang words or being called “dude” can be a turnoff for interviewers.

The job interview is considered a formal conversation between a candidate and interviewer.  Depending on the job environment, the use of good grammar to articulate and share your professional experience and skills may be more appropriate.  Do not use terms that an interviewer may not be familiar with, it can distract an interviewer.  If you begin to use excessive slang words when answering questions, then you are may confuse the interviewer leaving it up to them to interpret what you are talking about.

Practice answering potential interview questions with a friend or family member in a professional manner to help weed out these unnecessary (slang) words.

Recruiters are never short of stories when it comes to candidates and the interview process.  The job interview is the stage where one can make a first-rate impression.  Hopefully, these insights can better prepare you for your job interview and drastically increase your chances of getting a job.

What are other interview tips that candidates should avoid?  We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and suggestions.    Like or follow us to join the conversation.

Special thanks to the recruiters and college relations managers for their participation in the 1st series of the Recruiter’s Roundtable.  If you are interested in participating in our next series or learn more about it, feel free to send me an email at “edward (at) myjoblinx (dot) com”.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2012 2:49 am

    Good article, minus all the grammatical mistakes.

  2. March 29, 2012 2:54 am

    Good article, minus all the grammatical errors.


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