There is no doubt that job interviews can be nerve-racking – especially at the moment, when many (maybe even hundreds) of graduates are going for the same jobs.
You obviously want to give yourself the edge over other candidates, and make the interviewer think of you as a person they want to immediately hire. But even huge amounts of company research, excellent presentation skills and months of work experience can go out of the window if you accidentally let slip with something stupid.
Examples revealed today on The Guardian, courtesy of Corinne Mills of Personal Career Management, include prospective employees revealing that they like to spend their spare time in the pub, discussing religion and politics, and admitting that the job they’re interviewing for would only be a stop-gap in their career.
Mills revealed the top ten things that should never be said in job interviews, if you want to keep the prospect of employment within your sights.
1. ‘Sorry I’m late.’ Even if there seem to be good reasons why you’ve turned up late to your interview, it is hardly likely to go down well with a future employer. Do everything you can, therefore, to make sure you arrive slightly early – around ten minutes is best.
2. ‘What’s your annual leave and sickness policy?’ Obviously, these kinds of questions should come later in the process – you don’t want it to look like you’re basing whether you take the job on how many holidays you’ll get.
3. ‘I’ll just take this call.’ It is never ok to take a call during an interview. The best thing would be to turn it off.
4. Saying that you see yourself with the interviewer’s job in five years time is not a good idea – aside from appearing slightly threatening, you should be concentrating on your own skills.
5. Revealing problems with previous employer/s will only reflect badly on you, making you look like a complainer, as well as unprofessional.
6. That you don’t know exactly what the business does – for example that you thought they developed a product that they don’t. This will highlight a distinct lack of research, suggesting that you don’t care about the company.
7. ‘Bloody hell’, or any other easy-to-let-slip swear words. Even if your interviewer is using profanities all over the place, this will still make you look unprofessional.
8. Industry jargon that you used in your previous job. Your employer might not use the same acronyms, making you difficult to understand. Make sure everything you say is clear.
9. ‘Do I really have to wear that uniform?’ Again, this will make you look like someone who complains – it also suggests a certain level of arrogance.
10. Perks/ lunchtime/ holidays – when asked what you expect the best part of the job to be.
So, remember to avoid the above mistakes during interviews. Instead, focus on your skills, knowledge and past experience – they are the three things, above anything else, that will be needed to bag yourself the job.