We often focus on researching key points to mention in an interview, rather than harping on what not to say. Yet, interviewers claim applicants generally make common mistakes without even realizing where they went wrong.
At KP Staffing, our recruiters have just about heard it all – the good, the bad, and the questionable. With their expertise, we were able to construct a list of the top five things you should never say during an interview.
1. "I absolutely hated my last boss."
Employers get it – not all professional environments are enjoyable, but putting others down creates a negative perception of your willingness to work under less-than-ideal conditions.
An interview is your moment to shine with both your exceptional skills and dazzling personality, regardless of how miserable your previous work experience was.
Instead of calling out your horrible boss, shift the focus on how you impacted the office. Organically sprinkle in stories about pleasant customer interactions or how well you adapted to unique office dynamics.
The key is to exhibit your ability to excel and thrive with a positive attitude, no matter the situation.
2. "Perfectionism is my greatest weakness."
This is the ultimate pageant answer in the interviewing world; being overly consumed with perfection is clearly not a weakness, no matter how you spin it.
Taking this approach feels disingenuous and often leaves the interviewer wondering what your
actual weakness must be. So, while keeping the job’s criteria in mind, ditch the guessing game and
share what you tend to struggle with.
Whether your weakness is not asking for help or obsessively focusing on a task until it's complete, present the issue with a personal solution.
How are you overcoming that weakness? If you aren't naturally the most organized, are you using reminders in your phone? If you aren't a morning person, do you have 500 alarms strategically placed around your room to ensure you wake up on time?
Employers understand that no one is perfect, but the potential to mold success and witness growth are hirable traits.
3. "So, what does this company do?"
After applying for dozens of jobs, it's easy to get them mixed up – take a moment to research details about the company before interviewing. Inadequate preparation is a major red flag for employers because it potentially foreshadows a lackluster work ethic.
You should be an expert: understanding the ins and outs of the business, company culture, and what your role entails.
Accepting a new job is like a marriage; before diving in, uncover what you'll be committing yourself to.
Rather than asking what the company does, find a more in-depth question to ask.
For example, if you're applying for a position within a staffing agency, you might ask how the interviewer anticipates that the staffing industry will be altered by COVID-19, or how it has already shifted.
4. "[A lie]."
While fabricating your skills might land you the job, it's only a matter of time before your deception is revealed.
Instead of conjuring up some elaborate lie, be honest about your ability to complete tasks, as well as what areas you look to improve in.
Who knows, maybe the interviewer is looking for a candidate with little experience in a particular area; starting from scratch could be easier than correcting bad habits.
5. "I don't have any questions."
Not asking a question to close the interview or inquiring about something seemingly trivial demonstrates a lack of genuine interest. And probing about compensation, benefits, or vacation days is in poor taste as well.
Instead, close the interview with a legitimate question about the company or industry itself.
For example, ask a targeted question like “While the market is rapidly growing, where do you see the business heading in the next few years?"
By presenting questions with a particular aim, you appear intuitive while highlighting the fact that you are knowledgeable in that field.
The objective is to actually learn about the company; this is your opportunity to interview them and allow them to sell you on the position!
Interviewing for the position you’ve always wanted doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Ask questions and take the necessary time to come up with a game plan.
Here at KP, we aim to ease the interviewing jitters by allowing applicants to be themselves while preparing them for the workforce. Let us lead you to success!